11-year-old Reuben Paul, may be the youngest American to earn a Shaolin Kung Fu black belt, but it was not his physical achievements that left hundreds astonished at a cyber security conference in The Netherlands.
Accompanied by his trusty teddy bear, Bob, Reuben demonstrated just how truly the internet has connected our world. “Anything or any toy can be part of the “Internet of Things (IOT)” he said.
Bob, which was connected to the iCloud via wifi and bluetooth smart technology to transmit and receive messages, managed to scan the audience for available bluetooth devices. Through Reuben’s laptop, he was then able to download dozens of phone numbers. To complete the demonstration, he then hacked into Bob and recorded a message from the audience.
An Interconnected World
Our everyday lives have begun to revolve around smart devices, which are all interconnected through the internet. With this demonstration, Reuben shows how everyday appliances can be used to spy, steal from or harm us.
While it has always been advised that online private information be kept safe in fear of viruses and hacks, perhaps the real shock of this event is the revelation of just how easy it is to steal such information and the way in which it can be done; even something as harmless as a children’s toy can be used against us if in the wrong hands.
Advancements in technology have no doubt made our world much safer, but with this comes its own dangers. With nearly every individual in the world having a smart device on their person, the possibility and fear on how information could easily be stolen or exchanged is raised.
Reuben urges that there is a need to educate the public on the dangers of cyber insecurity. We can no longer be ignorant on how information is passed around; Technology has shaped the way we conduct and go about our lives. As we move further into a digitally connected world, it is important to also understand what risks are present as opposed to simply enjoying the benefits.