Security researchers have demonstrated the ability to remotely take control of Internet-enabled cars. A fatal Io T disaster will similarly spur our government into action, and it's unlikely to be well-considered and thoughtful action.
They've demonstrated ransomware against home thermostats and exposed vulnerabilities in implanted medical devices. In one recent paper, researchers showed how a vulnerability in smart light bulbs could be used to start a chain reaction, resulting in them all being controlled by the attackers — that's every one in a city. Our choice isn't between government involvement and no government involvement.
It's true that this is a domestic solution to an international problem and that there's no U. regulation that will affect, say, an Asian-made product sold in South America, even though that product could still be used to take down U. If the United States and perhaps a few other major markets implement strong Internet-security regulations on Io T devices, manufacturers will be forced to upgrade their security if they want to sell to those markets.But a software bug that literally crashes your car is another thing altogether.The security vulnerabilities in the Internet of Things are deep and pervasive, and they won't get fixed if the market is left to sort it out for itself.Late last month, popular websites like Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and Pay Pal went down for most of a day.The distributed denial-of-service attack that caused the outages, and the vulnerabilities that made the attack possible, was as much a failure of market and policy as it was of technology.The government could impose minimum security standards on Io T manufacturers, forcing them to make their devices secure even though their customers don't care.