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A Casino’s Hacked Internet-Connected Fish Tank Reminds Businesses That Hackers Can Find a Way in

An Internet-connected aquarium in a casino serves as yet another reminder that hackers will find ways to breach any system, no matter how secure. Connected to track water temperature and reduce maintenance, its connectivity also made the casino vulnerable to cyberattacks – and within hours attackers had found and compromised its thermometer, giving them access to its high-roller database in North America.

Information stolen may have included credit card numbers, bank account details and names; this was an enormous loss for the casino and serves as an alarm bell that even small devices can be compromised and cause major problems; furthermore it highlights how IoT devices leave businesses vulnerable to hackers if improperly secured.

Darktrace has previously identified hacks involving devices similar to these, most notably last year when Justin Fier, its director of cyber intelligence, mentioned an incident where hackers gained entry to a casino system by exploiting an aquarium thermometer connected to its computer in its lobby aquarium aquarium.

A PC connected to an aquarium controlled factors like temperature and salinity levels within its tanks as well as when they needed cleaning. Furthermore, this technology enabled remote management through IoT devices such as remote temperature sensing.

IoT devices must be secured better. Companies responsible should create IoTs with security in mind and implement stronger protocols to connect devices together securely. Users should be allowed to change default passwords and update software regularly so as to prevent hacks and cyber attacks from taking place easily.

IoT devices have become an ever-more vital component of our lives, and it is of utmost importance that their security be improved. While this task is complex, sufficient effort must be exerted if the industry is to prevent hack attacks in the future.

Nicole Eagan of cybersecurity firm Darktrace spoke at the WSJ CEO Council Conference in London this Thursday about hackers increasingly exploiting unprotected “internet of things” devices such as air-conditioning systems and CCTV cameras to gain entry to corporate networks. Hannigan who ran Britain’s digital spying agency Government Communications Headquarters also addressed this event and advocated for legislation setting minimum security standards for IoT gadgets as these increase company vulnerabilities to ransomware attacks and other cyberattacks.