IT BYTES BACK! says: How IoT killed off CSI

My favourite crime series, Crime Scene Investigation or CSI, had always been very good at keeping up with the zeitgeist of the times. When a new fad was catching hold of a locale in the United States, the producers would find a way to incorporate it into the telling of the latest CSI episode.

When it became all-too clear that the red-headed Horatio was not winning fans, they killed off CSI: Miami. (I had silently cheered)

While admirable how quickly the series and all three versions of it, CSI: Las Vegas, CSI: New York and CSI: Miami adapted to the latest socio and economic trends gripping the US at any one time, it was a technology trend finally, the Internet of Things,  that did all three CSI series, in.

From the ashes, CSI: Cyber was born, a new forensics and cybersecurity division with a new way of fighting criminals that increasingly used the cyber space to perpetrate heinous crimes.

Just a few examples of hacks and threats that the series showed (or potentially could in the future): a Jeep Cherokee was hacked in real-life while Fiat Chrysler had recall cars and Tesla had to release a patch to counter vulnerabilities.

Toys and home appliances now are also connected to the Internet; the Barbie doll has a microphone which could be turned into a hacker-controlled spy device, while fridges and baby monitors, could covertly gather personal information.

One particular CSI episode was about how a hacker infiltrated patient records, remotely changing records of the medicine one patient was supposed to take, to the patient’s detriment – he died from the wrong medicine and dosage. In real-life, a machine which administers intravenous drugs, was discovered to have security vulnerabilities, and costed its manufacturer at least USD300 million to phase out.

I’m not even going to go into how wearables like smart watches are increasingly equipped with fitness apps that collect personal information about our physical health…

These are just a few examples of how we are allowing automation technologies and applications to slowly but surely seep into our daily lives.

They may not always be known as the “Internet of Things” technologies, but they should serve as a stark and cold reminder that as long as our devices, machines and gadgets are connected to that World Wide Web, we ourselves are also in danger.

IT BYTES BACK! says: IoT is here to stay, and it managed to make a long-running and popular series like CSI, redundant. How long before it poses a threat to our way of living?

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