10 Nightmare Scenarios From the Internet of Things


Grosse Point Blackout

Yep, you can hack pacemakers. © Corbis
Yep, you can hack pacemakers. © Corbis

"So you'll do it?" asks the hard-looking woman in the designer coat and tacky jewelry. "You'll ... take the job?"

The man glances around the bar for effect before replying. "You want it to look like an accident, right? No problem. I can do tire blowouts, brakes -- and not the old-school detectable cuts, either, I can hack them. Does he have a bad ticker? Sugar problems, maybe? That would be primo. Pacemakers are easy to hack; insulin pumps aren't much harder. Anyway, all doable, no physical evidence. Everything talks to everything else these days. But it's going to cost."

"That's what I was waiting to hear, scumbag." The woman stands up and produces a badge and a gun. "You're under arrest."

He laughs. "Am I?"

Suddenly, the lights go black and the detective's wireless mic goes dead. Music blares from the restaurant speakers, covering the sound of the fleeing hit man as he escapes through the service exit using a hacked RFID chip.

We'll get him anyway, thinks the detective on the winding mountain road back to the precinct. He can't hack everything, and we've got hardened drones sweeping the area with hi-res cameras. She's still thinking it when her tires blow near dead man's curve, sending her tumbling down the canyon wall.