Watch Researchers Hack a Surgical Robot
In the future, your surgeon could be a machine. Teleoperated surgical robots can be controlled from a distance to operate on patients in hard-to-reach places. But as information travels between a human on one side of the world and a robot on the other, it’s vulnerable to attack.
In the first episode of our series ‘Can I Hack It?’, made possible by Mr. Robot on Amazon Prime, Motherboard visits researchers at the University of Washington who are exploring how teleoperated surgical robots could be hacked—so they can spot vulnerabilities before human patients are at risk.
We get hands on with the RAVEN II surgical robot and find out for ourselves how difficult it is to control when a hacker takes over. Could we be risking assassination by hacker?
How Hackers Could Wirelessly Bug Your Office
You think about securing your laptop, but what about your desk phone, monitor, or printer?
In the second episode of Can I Hack It?, made possible by Mr Robot on Amazon Prime, white hat hacker Ang Cui demonstrates hacks on “embedded devices”—objects that contain computing systems but that you wouldn’t necessarily think of as computers.
At his office in New York, Cui shows us how he can turn an office phone or printer into a bugging device using a piece of malware he calls “funtenna.” This exploit makes the equipment transmit data over radio frequencies so it can be picked up by an antenna—without the hacker ever having to go near the device.
It’s a pretty high-level hack, but as Cui says, if he’s thought of it, you can imagine someone else has.
Hacking Passports and Credit Cards with Major Malfunction
Anything with a chip in it is vulnerable to attack. Your contactless credit card, your office key card, your passport—as more processes become automated, more opportunities open up to hackers.
In the third episode of Can I Hack It?, made possible by Mr Robot on Amazon Prime, we visit Adam Laurie, better known by his hacker name Major Malfunction.
Laurie specialises in hacking devices that use RFID, or radio frequency identification. He’s a white hat researcher who finds ways to hack into products in order to test their security, and he also runs the London chapter of the Defcon hacking community.
From his home in the British countryside, Laurie tells us how hacking has changed over the decades and demonstrates just how easy it is to pull information from a contactless card or clone a passport—but he promises he’s deleted the details he hacked from us.