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The Internet of Things is bringing computerization and connectivity to many tens of millions of devices worldwide.These devices will affect every aspect of our lives, because they're things like cars, home appliances, thermostats, light bulbs, fitness trackers, medical devices, smart streetlights and sidewalk squares.The sellers of those devices don't care: They've already moved on to selling newer and better models.

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And any improvements they make in their software will be available in their products wherever they are sold, simply because it makes no sense to maintain two different versions of the software. Governments will get involved in the Io T, because the risks are too great and the stakes are too high.

This is truly an area where the actions of a few countries can drive worldwide change. Computers are now able to affect our world in a direct and physical manner. A small-government Republican president created the Department of Homeland Security in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks: a rushed and ill-thought-out decision that we've been trying to fix for more than a decade.

These devices don't get security updates like our more expensive computers, and many don't even have a way to be patched.

And, unlike our computers and phones, they stay around for years and decades.

We don't know who perpetrated that attack, but it could have easily been a lone hacker.

Whoever it was launched a distributed denial-of-service attack against Dyn by exploiting a vulnerability in large numbers ­— possibly millions — of Internet-of-Things devices like webcams and digital video recorders, then recruiting them all into a single botnet.In general, the software market demands that products be fast and cheap and that security be a secondary consideration.That was okay when software didn't matter —­ it was okay that your spreadsheet crashed once in a while.Security researchers have demonstrated the ability to remotely take control of Internet-enabled cars. A fatal Io T disaster will similarly spur our government into action, and it's unlikely to be well-considered and thoughtful action.They've demonstrated ransomware against home thermostats and exposed vulnerabilities in implanted medical devices. In one recent paper, researchers showed how a vulnerability in smart light bulbs could be used to start a chain reaction, resulting in them all being controlled by the attackers ­— that's every one in a city. Our choice isn't between government involvement and no government involvement.The government could impose minimum security standards on Io T manufacturers, forcing them to make their devices secure even though their customers don't care.

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