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IOE Blog


Expert opinion from IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society


Hey mum, the fridge has just let the burglars in

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 17 March 2017

Rose Luckin
I was stopped in my tracks as I was leaving the house the other morning when I heard Donald Toon, Director of Cyber Security at the National Crime Agency, talking to John Humphrys on the BBC Today programme. They were discussing the risks that arise when devices such as home freezers and fridges are linked to the Internet of Things and can be hacked to launch a cyber attack or to steal our personal information.
Mr Toon explained that hackers can use a range of tools and specialist software to harness the power of the Internet of Things. “Freezers you say!” exclaimed an incredulous Mr Humphrys. “Why would I want to connect my freezer to the internet?” Ah, well, explained Mr Toon to an increasingly agog interviewer, as long as an appliance, such as a fridge or freezer, is capable of being connected to the Internet, it can be hacked, even if the appliance is not actually currently connected to the Internet.
This is because hackers can still use software to trigger a connection and then connect to (more…)