Robot Makers Yet to Address Vulnerabilities, Point Out Researchers

Robot Makers Yet to Address Vulnerabilities, Point Out Researchers


Earlier in January, researchers had warned almost six robot manufacturers of about 50 vulnerabilities in their industrial, home, and business robots. Recently they said that the issues have still not been taken care of.

The researchers named Lucas Apa and Cesar Cerrudo from IOActive, a cyber-security firm, said the vulnerabilities would make is easier for hackers to spy on users, impair safety features, and control them to make dangerous moves.

So far there has been no instances of hackers having already exploited the vulnerabilities. However, the researchers feel that susceptibility of robots to attacks makes it extremely important to ensure they are totally protected from cyber threats. 

Researchers Detail Particular Vulnerabilities 

Apa said that their research showed that even non-military robots could be weaponized to unleash terror. The release by the two researchers detailed the specific vulnerabilities they found, including one case where many of those weak points were combined to hijack a factory robot, making it lurch about dangerously.

Cybersecurity experts have already pointed out that vulnerabilities of robots could be misutilized by attackers who cannot only disrupt factory activities but also demand ransom.

Some of the manufacturers of robots have defended themselves by saying that they have already looked into some of the problems. But as per Apa, only one of the six manufacturers, who have been contacted, claimed to have gotten the problem fixed.

The comments by Apa, over the security threats posed by robots, come close on the heels of a letter signed by over 100 renowned robotic experts requesting the United Nations to stop designing and manufacturing military robots, or autonomous weapons.