Watch out in a world of connected objects, cyber specialists warn

PARIS (AFP) – The massive global cyber attack that wreaked havoc in computer systems earlier this month caused plenty of visible disruption, not least in Britain’s National Health Service.

But in the brave new inter-connected world heralded by the internet of things (IoT), so-called “ransomware” attacks could have as their source something quite mundane and yet present in ever more modern households.

In a not so far-off future, the source of a software glitch with serious consequences for the simple consumer could be anything from a connected coffee machine or refrigerator to a techie toy or an outsmart-you television.

Web-connected gadgets are becoming all the rage with tech-aware professionals.

But the mere idea that it only needs a hacker to give the software a malevolent tweak to send them on the blink with disastrous consequences may yet threaten the development of such goods’ popular take-up.

“Regarding last weekend’s attack there is no risk for connected objects. That in particular hit systems running Windows …and today there are no mass market gadgets with Windows loaded in order to function,” says Gerome Billois, a consultant with Wavestone.

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