Robots and their control software are rife with critical and painfully obvious security flaws that make them easily hackable, new research shows.
Popular robotics products contain glaring and serious security vulnerabilities that could easily be exploited to hack and take control of a robot's movements and operations for spying or causing physical damage - and even posing a danger to humans.
A hacked robot could silently be used to go rogue and hack other networks within the office, or even other robots, according to the researchers, who say robots indeed could be the next-generation insider threat.
Call it the new insider threat: IOActive researchers Cesar Cerrudo and Lucas Apa have discovered some 50 flaws in popular robots and robot-control software used in businesses, industrial sites, and homes that could allow a hacker to remotely manipulate a robot moving about the office, plant floor, or home, to infiltrate other networks there, spy and steal information, and even wreak physical destruction. Robots are getting "smarter" and in some cases, with more human-like qualities such as facial recognition features, all of which is helping propel their popularity and usability. IDC estimates that in 2020, worldwide spending on robotics will be at $188 billion. Robots today are mostly in the manufacturing industry, but the consumer and healthcare sectors are up-and-coming in their robotics adoption, according to IDC.