For Halloween, we count down the most frightening technology tales of the fall.
At Not Impossible Now, we showcase tech that makes a difference. But in the spirit of Halloween, we’re highlighting the Top 5 technology stories that scare us!
5. ‘Poodle’ Attack!
Poodles don't usually seem spooky, but we're talking about a different beast altogether. This “Poodle” stands for “Padding Oracle on Downgraded Legacy Encryption.” And a Poodle attack makes it possible for hackers to access to your browser while you’re using free Wi-Fi at a Starbucks.
Fortunately, hackers would have to jump through a lot of hoops to make this kind of attack happen, so the downgraded fear factor keeps Poodle attacks at #5 on our list.
4. Spine-Chilling Swarm Robots!
We love robotics at Not Impossible Now, but after reading this Computerworld story, we had to put swarm robots at #4 on the list. And we’re not talking about just any robots, we’re talking about tiny cheerleading robots with glowing eyes that dance in formation. Yes, glowing eyes! Not frightened yet? Watch the YouTube video below and then pray that these synthetic creatures don't haunt your dreams tonight!
3. Boo! Here Comes the Bash Bug
OK, we’re obviously having a bit of fun at #4, but our #3 item on the list is seriously scary. Imagine if a hacker could break into your computer through your light bulb.
This scenario is entirely possible thanks to the Bash Bug, also known as the Shellshock Bug. The bug exposes a flaw in Bash software that “lets someone hack every device in your house,” CNNMoney reported. So a hacker could find a way into your computer system if you’ve installed smart lightbulbs in your home.
How can you protect yourself? Turn to ReadWrite's Shellshock 101 post for helpful hints and watch CNET's video report below for more information.
2. Fake Ebola Emails
Just hearing the word Ebola can be unnerving enough for some people. Now, hackers are trying exploit the public’s need for more information about the disease, which takes us to the #2 story on our list.
The Bits blog from The New York Times reported that hackers are sending emails that dupe users into thinking they’re from the World Health Organization. Once users open the email, they're invited to download a file about Ebola safety tips. But it’s a total scam. The downloaded file will basically give hackers an all-access pass to your computer.
Bits linked out to an advisory from the United States Computer Readiness Team on what precautions to follow for Ebola-themed phishing scams.
1. Baby Role-Play on Instagram
And finally, our #1 story is downright creepy. Last month, Fast Company published a story about users who steal photos of babies and post them on Instagram. Users pretend the babies can talk and even interact with other users through comments.
The baby role-play can get downright bizarre, which has prompted some Instagram users to police these accounts themselves, according to The Washington Post. Instagram told Fast Company and The Washington Post that this content violates their terms and they will work quickly to remove it once notified by a parent or guardian. Still, one parent told Fast Company that she hasn’t gotten much help from Instagram on removing stolen photos.
If you’re an Instagram user, we invite you to offer solutions for these parents in our comments section below.
Top photo credit: iStock/pearleye