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MEDIA ADVISORY: What Happens When Hackers Hijack Our Smart Devices?

From High-Tech Refrigerators to Heart Implants, Risks Abound, Johns Hopkins Expert Says

January 19, 2017
CONTACT: Phil Sneiderman
Office: 443-997-9907 / Cell: 410-299-7460
prs@jhu.edu On Twitter @JHUmediareps

In a recent segment on NPR’s TED Radio Hour, Johns Hopkins cybersecurity expert Avi Rubin warned that our increasing reliance on Internet-connected add-ons to our home appliances and vehicles could yield unwelcome consequences. These new high-tech links, he said, could open a digital doorway, allowing cyber-crooks to collect important personal data or access and empty bank accounts. Also vulnerable to tampering are medical implants designed to maintain a healthy heartbeat and cars wired for greater efficiency, Rubin said.

A professor of computer science in Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering, Rubin also is technical director of the university’s Information Security Institute. More than a decade ago, he was one of the first cybersecurity scholars to uncover and call attention to early computer voting machine vulnerabilities.

In his recent TED Radio Hour chat and in excerpts from his online TED Talks, Rubin has explained how a smart refrigerator’s calendar could give a hacker access to the owner’s Gmail account and sensitive information. He also described how a software bug caused a fitness tracker to injure its user and how the growing number of computer chips and wireless connections in cars could be exploited to harm the driver and passengers.

To request an interview with Prof. Rubin on these topics, please contact Phil Sneiderman.

Related links:

2017 TED Radio Hour Segment: Transcript of Chat with Avi Rubin.

Avi Rubin’s 2015 TED Talk:
The risk of connectivity: Hacking our watches, fridges, guns and more

Avi Rubin’s 2011 TED Talk: All your devices can be hacked


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