Locking your doors, shutting the blinds and getting under your blanket doesn’t cut it anymore. As long as you have an internet connection, and you operate within the fair usage of the internet (at least), there is a chance of being watched, tracked and attached.
Cryptocurrencies might seem almost bulletproof when it comes to privacy and security, but many forget about the security of the wider network – their smart device filled Wi-Fi network. How do ill-protected IoT devices pose a danger to your cryptocurrency private keys? With that knowledge comes the urgency to heighten your defenses, which will also be outlined in the following.
Internet of Things Is Not Far Behind
While it is a laudable idea to make a number of everyday things interact via a single network, it doesn’t come without its own hassles.
It’s fun to have your AC unit controlled from your phone and your refrigerator making smart feeding choices for you. What you might not understand is that these units still have to record, collect and send back the data they are generating to one source – the companies behind them, or any other person that can intercept the data during transmission.
Your printers and other devices connected to the internet are key pain points. With a poor security model built into these things, anyone who knows what they are doing can easily gain access to other devices on your network – your phone, your laptop or crucially, your printer.
IoT poses as a risk for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies
The Bitcoin and cryptocurrency network is operated and maintained on an environment of anonymity. This has helped to foster its decentralized nature and make it a suitable means of exchange for many.
The convenience of sending your files over a Wi-Fi network to a printer is trumped from learning about the possibility of a data hijack. Should a man in the middle attack occur, such a hijacker would have access to any and all files – which may include your security and access keys – that you share on the network.
Even if they didn’t get intercepted, your printer still records and maps all operations you send through it.
Of course, that is just one equipment in a lot of interconnected units out there. Just imagine how much damage the lot of them can do when used together.
Looking Towards the Future
If the current state of IoT is as we know it, thinking about how things will further degenerate in the future is scary.
The truth is, there is no stopping this train. Technology is advancing: IoT will continue to make lives easier as it integrates into different areas of modern life. Having learned the vulnerabilities of IoT devices, you should always think twice before jumping on this bandwagon.
A sensible thing to do would be to limit the number of units connected on a single network. Then, a breach wouldn’t cause too much damage.
To better secure the units, a simple trick is to encrypt the signals to and from your domestic router with a VPN. Securing the entire network connection will save you the hassle of checking the security protocol of each device. Even if you have your Bitcoins insured, there’s no reason not to take precautionary measures seriously.