All these days we thought that ransomware can only infect computer systems causing huge financial loss to a business/s. But have you ever imagined a robot getting infected with ransomware?
Yes, this is what was experimented by some security experts from IOactive who later concluded that the said malware can not only make robots malfunction but can also push the Robot owners into deep financial trouble, as it may take weeks or even months to restore them to operational status.
A recent paper release from security company IOActive entitled “Robots want Bitcoins Tool” shows how robots like Pepper and NAO can be infected with ransomware. And FYI, both the said humanoid robots which are commercially being operated in over 3 multinational companies were developed by renowned Japanese company Softbank.
Lucas Apa, senior consultant at IOActive also confirmed this news and said that ransomware attacks can smartly be used against those owning commercial robots, as the attack can not only disrupt a firm from conducting business on a further note. But can also make cyber crooks earn millions, as the ransom to recover such valuable assets is usually too high.
This is what was experimented by the security researchers from IOActive who injected custom codes into behavior file classes. They used this technique to bork the robot on a complete note and do something mischievous like using foul language against owners, disobeying their instructions or even kill humans under certain circumstances.
Already, we have seen such behavior in Amazon echo devices on a recent note as they were seen giggling at their owners and disobeying their orders.
While some tagged this behavior to some kind of notorious bug, many on Reddit confirmed that all the Amazon Echo devices exhibiting such behavior were hacked by hackers and were acting on their instructions and spying on their users.
IOActive security paper confirms that Robot vendors should improve security and update mechanisms of their machines to minimize ransomware threat in future. Otherwise, all such vulnerabilities could be smartly used by those prowling on the dark web to cripple businesses worldwide.