This is how the robots will kill us all

Photo: CC0
Photo: CC0

It’s bad enough when a regular old computer is hacked — but just imagine the damage that could be done if a robotic device is hacked. Top security firm IOActive is warning that hacked robots could attack humans, burgle homes, and even kill pets:

During the past six months, IOActive’s researchers tested mobile applications, robot operating systems, firmware images, and other software in order to identify the flaws in several robots that are available to buy right now, which the Sun have decided not to name.

They found that several of the robots could be hacked remotely.

Hacked robots “are more dangerous” than hacked computers because the addition of arms, legs or wheels could cause serious harm, IOActive claimed.

In a report released Wednesday, IOActive warned that a hacked robot inside a home could “spy on a family” and “even hurt family members and pets with sudden, unexpected movements.”

But it gets worse. Smaller hacked robots in the home “could start fires in a kitchen” or “poison family members and pets by mixing toxic substances in with food or drinks.”

Robots integrated with home automation systems could also unlock and open doors and deactivate alarms, leaving a home at risk for burglary. Or if the robot can talk or allow a remote hacker to talk through a speaker, it could instruct voice-activated assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, to unlock doors and disable home security.

Is this how the robots will take over the world? Maybe we should just guard our homes the good old fashioned way: with a gun.