Last summer, I explained ithat the Internet of Things was a huge and inconvenient and security risk because it

"means that everything you own will be hackable, your usage of everything will be spied upon, and sometimes things will stop working for no discernible reason."

In a subsequent post explaining why the IoT is a bad idea, I explained that such problems were inevitable because

"many of those computerized items will have software implemented by third- or fourth-rate programmers."

Well, last week proved me 100 percent correct, when a simple hack inserted into thousands of Web-connected devices brought down the Internet.

Folk, I told you then and I'm telling you today, the IoT is architecturally unsound. Directly-connected devices creates an inherently unstable and insecure environment.

Ironically, the solution is quite simple and close to what I suggested (in an open letter to Tim Cook): routing all Internet connectivity through a single device.

In other words, rather than an Internet-connected fridge (for example), your fridge would talk to your phone though a secure Bluetooth link.

An app on your phone would then automatically order groceries, assuming that's what you wanted to have happen.

Yes, that would mean that your fridge wouldn't be able to order groceries when you weren't at home. But why would you want it to do that?

Indeed, most of what the IoT is supposed to accomplish (much of which is really quite stupid anyway) doesn't need a direct Internet connection.

By contrast, forcing IoT devices to go channel through a (relatively) secure device (i.e. a phone) ensure that the devices can't be trivially hijacked.

Yes, some work would need to be done to secure the connection between the devices and the phone, but that's trivial compared to making the devices secure on the Web.

Look, the Internet is already a cybersecurity nightmare that supports several billion dollar industries trying to patch the holes. Do we really need to make things worse?

I predict that, going forward, the Internet of Things will continue to create huge problems and outages... until we wise up and say "enough already!"

Published on: Oct 26, 2016
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