Hacking in IoT devices
We are all literate about the kind of damage hackers can do to precious data and the kind of havoc that can wreck. Recent events with ransomwares and data leaks ( a la Equifax) showed us that hackers are indeed capable of harming lives, stealing money and causing lasting losses to both individuals and businesses. With the advent of IoT, there are speculations about how hackers can seize control of internet-connected devices and fulfill their nefarious purposes. While experts argued that the amount of data contained in these devices and their indispensability (being in the cloud) could dissuade hackers from taking this seriously, there are other internet-connected avenues that can be exploited.
The relevance of robots today
Robots. Robots are slowly entering our lives in various domains. There are robots that are assisting in surgeries, helping us clean our floors and even driving our cars. Here the impact that can possibly be caused by these devices going rogue can only be feared. But robots are also entering the domains of pleasure. Sex toys have now become Bluetooth enabled Bluetooth enabled devices like the Hush butt plug have already been hacked and its vulnerabilities exposed. Robot makers have (successfully) pitched the idea of sex robots- robots that are programmed to be experts in the act of sexual intercourse. Such robots will have intimate access to our lives and our bodies. A hacker controlling them is something that is as frightening as it is bizarre.
The possible dangers of robot hacking
A robot weighs about 200-300 kilograms on an average. Robots come equipped with superior strength and durability. Sex robots particularly will have their artificial private parts strengthened. If those parts get engineered to damage people, it can cause serious injury which can also get life threatening. Nicholas Patterson, a lecturer in cybersecurity at Deakin University said that hackers can have full control over the arms, legs and attached tools of a robot. The new age of cyberwarfare could involve a sex robot taking people hostage physically and asking for ransom, quite deviously like a new age ransomware.
The topic of sex robots going rogue is also a tricky issue for legal folks. If a sex robot goes rogue, who pays for the damages? Is it the manufacturer, the lead programmer or the owner and victim? What if the victim is a friend of the owner? Can the owner program the robot to do something that the robot isn’t intended to do? If the owner is indeed able to do that, is the owner breaking any laws while doing that?
Other aspects and conclusion
The other aspect of robot technology that involves sex too, is brain customer interfacing. Using that, users can control their robots using signals from their brain. Hackers can potentially misuse these brain connections and send damaging signals to the brain. This can cause permanent impairment, brain hemorrhage and even induce mental illness. It is also speculated that hackers may be able to paralyze users using the interface.
Robots, sex robots or otherwise will help us in our daily lives. But we must be wary of hackers using this superior technology against us.
Author: Yogesh Prasad
Ethical Hacker | Information Security Consultant | Cyber Security Expert | Founder – Hackers Interview