Not on my (Apple) Watch!

‘The UK’s Tory government cabinet ministers have reportedly been officially banned from wearing Apple Watches to crucial meetings in case they’re compromised by Russian hackers.

“The Russians are trying to hack everything,” one unnamed source told the Telegraph.’

Source: Ars Technica


Hah, this is epic. “The Russians are trying to hack everything”, not that all the other cyber superpowers are doing or trying to do the same. Cyber defense of countries is a coin with a hundred sides, just like a real war, in which what is an outrageous, evil hacking attack for one person, is a heroic deed of brave professionals for others.

It is bad news for “scriptwriters” of hack stories for the masses that the world has become pretty much interconnected and different explanations of the same event (like Russians hacking something) can unexpectedly emerge from the depths of the Internet and find its way through the digitally more aware and privacy enabled citizens. The recent attack on DNC servers (which the US has officially accused Russia of) has at least three different scripts from unidentified hacker groups, from a lone Romanian hacker to the intelligence units of the Russian army.

And what about other smart watch brands? And mobile phones? Maybe Android phones that have proven in the past to be pretty weak against targeted attacks? But let’s not stop just there yet.

Mr. Member of Parliament, besides leaving your smartphone and smartwatch out in the locker, can I ask you to remove your fitness watch, health monitor, smart pen, voice recorder and anything else smart as well? What about intradermal chips? Or robotic prosthetics? People are moving ever closer to a merger with technology when they will be literally inseparable from their gadgets. At any rate, it is easier to hack the participants’ emails (the good ol’ human trait, negligence, can always be counted upon), or plant a few bugs in the room or on the participants.

I understand that it is extremely hard to find the balance between security and privacy but overemphasizing the significance of one factor is like asking people to swim without wristbands in the hope that they will not pee in the pool.