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posted by martyb on Tuesday February 19 2019, @01:59PM   Printer-friendly
from the build-a-[fire]-wall! dept.

Sex robots could be hijacked by hackers and used to cause harm or even kill people, a cybersecurity expert has warned.

Artificial intelligence researchers have consistently warned of the security risks posed by internet-connected robots, with hundreds recently calling on governments to ban weaponized robots.

The latest warning comes from a cybersecurity expert who made the prophecy to several U.K. newspapers.

“Hackers can hack into a robot or a robotic device and have full control of the connections, arms, legs and other attached tools like in some cases knives or welding devices,” Nicholas Patterson, a cybersecurity lecturer at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, told the Star.

“Often these robots can be upwards of 200 pounds and very strong. Once a robot is hacked, the hacker has full control and can issue instructions to the robot. The last thing you want is for a hacker to have control over one of these robots. Once hacked they could absolutely be used to perform physical actions for an advantageous scenario or to cause damage.”

[Yes, the story is "clickbait-y", but the underlying point still remains that remote access to IoT (Internet of Things) devices could wreak havoc. Do any Soylentils have IoT devices and what, if anything, have you done to provide protection from undesired monitoring or tampering? --Ed.]

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Knowledge Troll on Tuesday February 19 2019, @05:20PM

    by Knowledge Troll (5948) on Tuesday February 19 2019, @05:20PM (#803545) Homepage Journal

    This was my first thought too - why would anyone write about the dangers that might exist for a sex robot in the future when the modern automobile is currently a serious threat as a remotely controllable robot. This is not limited to self driving cars though. For quite a while now the modern automobile is a robot with hand controls that look identical to the standard mechanical control system from the previous generation. To put it another way: you use the steering wheel to tell the robot car what you want it to do instead of pointing the wheels with a mechanical linkage. Repeat for throttle, parking brake, and even some times brake pedal. There is at least one automobile on the road where there is not a mechanical linkage between the steering wheel and the steering rack at all and that's not a self driving car, it's a Lexus.

    It's also been more than 10 years since this was originally researched and published by a university in California and one in Washington. The media has been able to successfully hire people to demonstrate to the evening news that they can take over a car the reporters are driving over the Internet. I've even had people driving me around in a Lyft bring up the remotely hackable car but not nearly enough.

    It's quite obvious we have a problem and it's quite obvious it has been brought to the attention of the public yet hardly anyone cares. I'm sure people here will argue with me about how big a deal this isn't as well. But this is a big deal - we can't have remotely hackable 1.5 ton machines with 200 hp on the road, that's insane.

    There is a parallel here with spying on the internet. Tell people the government knows who they are talking to and they don't care because that's only used against bad guys and they aren't one of those. But tell them the government has a collection of your dick pictures because they slurp up all the texts including the sexting you've been doing and all the sudden people really give a fuck.

    If you want people to care about something you have to punch them in the dick [] apparently. Maybe the sex robot thing will do that.

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