Bruce Schneier says that everything, basically, is a computer with some extra stuff attached.

When he wrote for New York Magazine, he described it this way:

Your modern refrigerator is a computer that keeps things cold. Your oven, similarly, is a computer that makes things hot. An ATM is a computer with money inside. Your car is no longer a mechanical device with some computers inside; it’s a computer with four wheels and an engine. Actually, it’s a distributed system of over 100 computers with four wheels and an engine. And, of course, your phones became full-power general-purpose computers in 2007, when the iPhone was introduced.

We wear computers: fitness trackers and computer-enabled medical devices — and, of course, we carry our smartphones everywhere. Our homes have smart thermostats, smart appliances, smart door locks, even smart light bulbs. At work, many of those same smart devices are networked together with CCTV cameras, sensors that detect customer movements, and everything else. Cities are starting to embed smart sensors in roads, streetlights, and sidewalk squares, also smart energy grids and smart transportation networks. A nuclear power plant is really just a computer that produces electricity, and — like everything else we’ve just listed — it’s on the internet.

The internet is no longer a web that we connect to. Instead, it’s a computerized, networked, and interconnected world that we live in. This is the future, and what we’re calling the Internet of Things.

What’s the potential for an Internet of Things? More pressingly, what are the dangers?

Schnier has worked in computer security for the last 30 years, and his new book is called “Click Here To Kill Everybody.”

Guests

  • Bruce Schneier Cybersecurity expert; author, "Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-Connected World"; @schneierblog

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