Please build securely – before robots kill us

Over the past couple of weeks, the world has been given WannaCry, which moved like wildfire through the globe and has given rise to multiple theories of origination from North Korea and not North Korea, and was dubbed “a pretty shoddy piece of work”.  As of this writing no one is certain of the origin.

We are told now that the weaponized EternalBlue at the core of WannaCry is in its successor  – EternalRocks, but there are an additional five tools for a total of seven NSA hacking tools.  We are also told that EternalRocks is here, operating in the shadow on machines and the dark web. Please do not forget we also have Adylkuzz to worry about, massive DDoS attacks by IoT botnets, data breaches and on, and on and on.

The point of this is that we live in an incredibly insecure world that causes real economic pain – and we need to figure out how to build with security before we have robots in our homes.

Can you imagine what a hacked human-scale robot in your house or your workplace could do? They could steal you blind, beat you up, kill you, kill your pets, burn your house down, push you out a window or down the stairs, spy on you, steal your car – the list goes on and on.

We have our current security problems due in large part because the originators of the internet, email and computers – pioneers of instant communication and creators of the global village – simply did not have security in their worldview.  The internet was not purpose-built to be secure.  Now we have learned that the Internet of Things (IoT) did not consider security either.  We need to stop thinking about security afterwards, and start purposely building security into the architecture of connected devices that can affect our lives.

We need to do this when we build-human scale robots that will be in our homes and in our lives.  Because our concern over what happens with AI will pale next to what could happen with the natural intelligence of hackers and cyber criminals (and ex spouses, angry neighbors, etc).

Please build securely

 

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Theresa DeGroote

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