11 year old Indian-origin boy hacks Bluetooth devices using Raspberry Pi

Internet of Things (IoT) aims at integrating digital devices more with the physical world for the betterment of humans. However, as the technology gets increasingly pervasive, we should bear in mind few concerns. For instance, is the technology failsafe for use or can it be weaponized? These were the questions set to dominate cyber-security conference in the Netherlands where Reuben Paul, sixth-grader genius from Austin, Texas stunned the audience.

One Conference 2017

The boy suggested that things in our daily lives like IoT home appliances, cars, refrigerators or everything that can be connected to Internet-connected can be weaponized or used to spy on us or harm us.

Reuben demonstrated this by plugging into his laptop a device known as a “Raspberry Pi“. It is a low-cost computer. He then proceeded to scan the hall for Bluetooth devices and downloaded dozens of numbers.

Next, using the Python language, he successfully managed to hack into his bear via one of the numbers and turned on Bob’s (his teddy bear’s) lights and recorded audio.

It was fun but I hope people did not miss the message – Secure IoT before the Internet of Toys becomes the Internet of Threats, Reuben tweeted.

With this, he underscored something important – Internet of Things devices could easily be hacked. As such, our private information such as passwords can be stolen or the same can be used as a remote surveillance system to spy on someone. Reuben’s father revealed that the boy showcased his early IT skills at the age of 6.

A new interconnection of technology which was once heralded as the next industrial revolution thus has become the first apprehension of early adopters of the technology. The message out is loud and clear – manufacturers, security researchers, and the government have to work together!

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The author Hemant Saxena is a post-graduate in technology and has an immense interest in following Microsoft and other technology developments around the world. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player.