Security issues associated with Internet of Things (IoT) devices is nothing new, but Trend Micro has found a vulnerability with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon system-on-a-chip (SOC) mobile processors that highlights the future danger for the IoT.
Trend Micro researchers discovered a hole in the chip’s security that if exploited allows root access to the device, which would allow it to be taken over by an attacker. So far the security company has only found the problem in a handful of smartphones, but it noted that Snapdragon processors are also uses in a myriad of IoT devices.
In addition to the built-in vulnerability, the report noted how the consumer’s habit of simply not bothering to update their current devices will compound the problem when so many more connected devices are found in the average home. Not only will these be harder to update, but the throw-away nature of the products will mean most people won’t bother to keep the updated. The products that can be affected will range from children’s toys, like the Barbie doll that was recently hacked, to pacemakers.
“An IoT future, where almost every device in the home will have a connection, is only going to compound this problem further. Add in the fact that some of these devices will be designed to be cheap and “essentially disposable” and it’s easy to see why many people worry about the security of the IoT,” the report stated.