Europe's chief criminal intelligence agency Europol has warned that the threat of “online murder” is increasing and cyber criminals are targeting victims with Internet technology. The agency warns that the first online murder could happen before the end of 2014.
The European Police Office (Europol) stated that governments are ill-equipped to counteract the menace of “injury and possible deaths” prompted by hacking attacks on critical safety equipment.
Citing a December 2013 report by US security firm IID Europol warned that the first murder via "hacked internet-connected device" could happen by the end of 2014. IID report stated that vulnerabilities in Internet-connected medical devices like pacemakers, “which could be hacked to send out lethal jolts of electricity, or insulin pumps, which can be reprogrammed to administer overdoses.” Read: 70 percent smart devices vulnerable to hacking: report
The report also highlighted that technology could lead to new forms of extortion and blackmail through internet connected devices, like locking people out of their smart cars and homes before payment of a ransom. The report added that the increasing use of facial and speech recognition for security without up-to-date security were open for abuse for hackers.
“The IoE represents a whole new attack vector that we believe criminals will already be looking for ways to exploit," according to the Europol threat assessment. “The IoE is inevitable. We must expect a rapidly growing number of devices to be rendered ‘smart’ and thence to become interconnected. Unfortunately, we feel that it is equally inevitable that many of these devices will leave vulnerabilities via which access to networks can be gained by criminals."