Monday, May 12, 2014

"Killer robots" are not the only threat

“The people are really thinking it’s ok to give the right to target and kill human beings to machines.”  Jody Williams, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, uttered these words with a mixture of anger and fear in an interview in which she was asked about "killer robots."

We live in a world where almost anything is achievable provided the means and enough time to develop it. Unfortunately, some of these inventions are designed solely to kill other human beings. This is the case of "killer robots" whose creation is close to being a reality. Machines would be able to select their targets and destroy them autonomously, without any human intervention, as it is in the case of drones. The controversy is served and has reached the UN, where the matter will be discussed by experts during the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) in November.

Too many people feel fascination for weapons and now it is easier than ever to access them. In fact, you can even print them! Yes, you can. You only need a 3D model of the weapon and a 3D printer like the one owned by the Japanese man arrested last Thursday for possessing five 3D-printed weapons. At least two of them could be shooted. Probably he obtained 3D models from the Internet.

Many users believe Internet threats are limited to viruses that infect personal computers. But they are wrong. Having a link to a real weapon 3D model also represents a potential great danger. Also, a malware designed to mine bitcoins in digital video recorders that many of us have connected to the TV to record our favorite shows is also a risk to consider. Especially after learning that the researcher Johannes Ullrich has proved that it is relatively simple to carry out this type of infection. In addition, if we also have a smart TV with built-in microphone, it's double threat because it could be used by cybercriminals to spy on you. They only need physical access to the device or the user installing a malicious app to infect and begin listening tasks .

Those small memory cards that we carry in our phones, tablets or photo cameras seem harmless, but they can also jeopardize our devices’ security and our data’s privacy. It is enough to connect them to an infected device to immediately become victim of such malware. And if we do not have them properly protected, in the case someone steals our smartphone he could easily get all the information stored on the card. What won’t be possible to obtain are our Snapchat conversations, pictures and videos because once played, they are destroyed. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of United States issued a report alerting that the company did not adequately fulfilled all the promises made to its users and kept more information than it was supposed to do.

Therefore, although "killer robots" are very close to come to ‘life’, which may make us recall a number of apocalyptic film scenes, you should not forget that danger lurks on every device, on every Internet connection. To keep you informed at all times, we recommend you to follow CIGTR through our different channels (links at the side), and also here on our blog.


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