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Why worry about hacking?

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O n 23 December 2015 , a n attack on the Ukrainian power grid took  place   ( Inside the cunning, unprecedented hack of Ukraine's power grid , Wired.com, Kim Zetter 03.03.16 ) . H ackers were able to successfully compromise the information systems of three energy distribution companies. The attackers temporarily disrupted electricity supply to the end consumers by compromising corporate networks, seizing control of SCADA systems, remotely switching substations off, disrupting IT infrastructure components and data, and denying consumers up-to-date information on the blackout.  

The attac k  took weeks of planning  by a host of skilled operators , and is rumoured to have been state funded.   

In that same year,  Dr. Charlie Miller & Chris Valasek  famously  published  their paper “Remote Exploitation of an Unaltered Passenger Vehicle”  in which they  described how they were  able to take advantage of a  Jeep vehicle that  had  “…no CAN bus architectural restrictions, such as the steering being on a  physically separate bus .”   (Figure 1)  

Figure  1 Achieving the famous “Jeep” hack required a high level of technical skill  

Both attacks  served to highlight the  sheer scale  of  potential problems with vulnerable connected systems.  But at the same time, they helped to establish a misconception that for hackers to succeed, they need to be highly motivated, highly skilled people with  considerable resources.

They don't. 

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Background

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Hacking is easy

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Hacking is indiscriminate

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Secure code matters

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In Summary

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