Wearables

‘Fear your Fitbit’ say cyber crime experts

By Oliver Smith 14 March 2017
image: Blablo101/istock
Summary

Scaremongering?

It might be time to unstrap your fitness tracker and take off your smartwatch, a scathing warning from the Government’s cybersecurity agency.

Digital attacks are happening to the devices we wear and carry around with us every day, like smartphones, fitness trackers and wearables, on “a scale and boldness not seen before”.

But why would anyone want to hack your Fitbit?

“This data may not be inherently valuable and might not be sold on criminal forums, but the device and data will be sufficiently valuable to the victim that they will be willing to pay for it,” warned the Government agency in the report.

Your photos could be held to ransom

Photos, emails or fitness data is stolen by criminals by so-called ‘ransomware’, which can then be used to blackmail or, more-often, to extort cash from the victim.

“Ransomware on connected watches, fitness trackers and TVs will present a challenge to manufacturers, and it is not yet known whether customer support will extend to assisting with unlocking devices and providing advice on whether to pay a ransom.”

So what’s the solution?

Right now there isn’t one, especially not from the millions of fitness trackers out there which often have a very low level of built-in security.

And with a predicted 21 billion devices being carried around by everyone in 2020, the Government says for now all is certain is that the problem is only going to get worse.