Dear Mr./Mrs. President,
Congratulations on your recent victory into office. I’m sure you’ll do many great things to take our country into the future. In just the last 3 presidential terms, we’ve experienced a massive boom in the internet, and more people than ever have been connected that would have never met. Through social media, email, and other sites like YouTube, people from around the world talk to each other and in some cases even have gained massive popularity. With all of these world-changing developments in such a short span, the implications of what could come to be in your term are astonishing. I know as just a single citizen in this country, one not even to voting age, I do not have a lot influence, but as someone growing up in this digital age, I offer a new scope on what is what is to come. The trouble with all this new technology is, as it offers more convenience in our lives, it also creates more dangers. Hacking is starting to become more of a threat than it ever has been, because inventions like the smart house, yield opportunities to a hacker for them to stealthily destroy anyone’s life with minimal effort and resources.
With the internet, everything is connected, and with bluetooth, even more so. So much, that a hacker targeting a smart house could access your air conditioning, sprinkler system, and, more importantly, security features, such as cameras, lights, doors, and windows. “Regardless of how safe individual devices are or claim to be, new vulnerabilities form when hardware like electronic locks, thermostats, ovens, sprinklers, lights and motion sensors are networked and set up to be controlled remotely”(source 1). A hacker could break into your one of your local devices, like a refrigerator, and wire themselves into the bluetooth communications between your fridge and your front door, and break into your home, since the defense software in a smart refrigerator are quite inferior to that of the security features. This is not just a danger of trespassing into a home either. There have been multiple recorded cases already of people wireless cracking into people’s insulin pumps and pacemakers, and having the power to kill them without a trace of evidence left behind. “In 2008, academic researchers demonstrated an attack that allowed them to intercept medical information from implantable cardiac devices and pacemakers and to cause them to turn off or issue life-threatening electrical shocks”(source 2). And if this was the case eight years ago, imagine what people could do with the technologies available today. “Software and a special antenna designed by [the hacker] allows him to locate and seize control of any device within 300 feet, even when he doesn't know the serial number”(source 2). One source says that a device with parallel function to that same antenna is available on Amazon for 20$ right now. In the future of technology, we’ll have more ways than ever to connect. We could pair these life saving devices to phones so that they could automatically call the hospital if they detect a malfunction or detect internal damage. Inventions similar to this can be life-saving, but also life threatening. All manner of other items from simple appliances, to the vehicles we take to school and work every day, to new innovations we haven't thought of yet are on the road to being connected wirelessly, where anyone can crack into them. “With cars containing multiple computers coupled together through a maze of networks, it’s also possible to break into the car’s command center without having to physically plug something into the port. Hackers just have to find a hole somewhere within one of the networks to sneak in. These holes are often created from software conflicts that emerge when code from one device like a CD player communicates with code from another device like a car’s on-boarding system. There’s so much code in a typical car from so many different vendors that it can be virtually impossible for auto makers to know all the software inside their vehicles, he explained”(source 3).
By stretching our creativity to the farthest reaches of the mind, we’ve made incredible things, but these inventions aren’t going to be purely for our benefit. The fact of the matter is that technology is dangerous, however, that shouldn’t mean we have to throw it all away and live without it. Inventions like the smart home and the smart automobile make life easier, and push us forward, but we have to start making innovations into security and counter measures to hacking. In the last year alone, I myself have gotten several messages saying major websites have been cracked, and I should reset my password, as it may now be floating around out there for someone with the proper knowledge to break into my account. What we need, is for a higher executive, such as yourself, to make a stand, and get people talking about this. We have to find new innovators in our society who can help us fight this. We need people to turn their heads and see the dangers of technology, so they will be further motivated to find a solution. That doesn’t mean we need to wage war on hacking, or some other overly drastic action. It means that we can’t sit by and let it continue, too much is at stake: our privacy, our property, and our safety.
Any way you decide to respond to this will certainly change the course of our country and perhaps the world. So, with all due respect, I ask that you step up, and raise awareness, and emphasize the level of caution and respect needed to properly defuse the situation, before things get out of hand.
1."Hacking into Homes: 'Smart Home' Security Flaws Found in Popular System | University of Michigan News." Hacking into Homes: 'Smart Home' Security Flaws Found in Popular System | University of Michigan News. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.
2. 27 Oct 2011 at 06:23, Dan Goodin Tweet_btn() Dan Goodin Get Email Alert When This Author Posts Common Topics Exploit Code, Data Theft, Information Security, Privacy, Hackers Recent Articles Security Mandates Aim to Shore up Shattered SSL System Adobe Kills Two Actively Exploited Bugs in Reader Judge Dismisses Charges against Accused Twitter Stalker. "Insulin Pump Hack Delivers Fatal Dosage over the Air." • The Register. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.
3. Vanian, Jonathan. "Security Experts Say That Hacking Cars Is Easy."Fortune Comments. N.p., 2016. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.