Rise of the machines: Europol warns of world’s first cyber-murder this year

Saqib Shah
October 6, 2014

Europol has warned of the dangers of the era of the Internet of Things (IoT), which it claims will bring with it the world’s first cyber-murder.

The heinous act could potentially be performed via a hacked health wearable, according to the European law enforcement agency.

Going beyond hacking for financial gain, Europol states that our increasingly connected world of smart devices will soon be used against their users to inflict bodily harm. Better keep an eye on who you borrow your smartwatch to then.

Just as threatening is the possibility of remote hacks into healthcare devices and smart cars or even automated homes. With smart devices on the rise, Europol is convinced that this will lead to their security being compromised by hackers.

“The [IoT] represents a whole new attack vector that we believe criminals will already be looking for ways to exploit,” claims the Europol threat assessment.

“The [IoT] is inevitable. We must expect a rapidly growing number of devices to be rendered ‘smart’ and thence to become interconnected. Unfortunately, we feel that it is equally inevitable that many of these devices will leave vulnerabilities via which access to networks can be gained by criminals.”

This isn’t the first time this concern has been raised. Across the pond in the US, 300 high-risk pregnancy monitors were hacked into at hospitals – causing them to slow down to a halt. Former US Vice President Dick Cheney also warned of the dangers of hacked health devices and even removed the wireless connectivity of his implanted defibrillator at the time due to security concerns.

About the Author

Saqib Shah

Tech/gaming journalist for What Mobile magazine and website. Interests include film, digital media and foreign affairs.

Share this article