From dating to driving, hackers hit where it hurts

Ashley Madison, Jeep, probably whatever smartwatch you're perusing -- there is no limit to where and when hackers can strike

From dating to driving, hackers hit where it hurts
Credit: Thinkstock

I’d like to feel sorry for folks affected by the Ashley Madison hack. Oh hell, that’s a lie; I wouldn’t like to and I don’t. I've spent the past three days in a municipal hoosegow waiting for my ex to wire over bail money, all while being psychologically tortured by a deputy who looks like a "Deliverance" extra and thinks Donald Trump belongs on Mount Rushmore. You Ashley Madison marks can feel sorry for me.

After all, it’s not as though the world (including yours truly) didn’t blare a loud warning when Adult Friend Finder got hacked a few weeks prior. Not only did you guys fail to heed those warnings, you managed to gloss over the fact that you’ve permanently meta-tagged yourselves as lying spousal boogerballs on an Internet with a privacy record so porous you might as well have posted your philander-ads and giblets pics on a billboard overlooking I-95.

Sure it’s wrong and unfair, but so are many things in life. What’s a good example? Oh, I don't know -- having your spouse lie to your face, then troll the InterWebs looking for e-tramps? Maybe that’s a little harsh, but I think I’m entitled.

Highway to hell

Is it fair that I plunked down tens of thousands of almost-hard-earned shekels to buy a new 2015 Jeep Cherokee last month, only to immediately have a couple of hack weenies from St. Louis teach the world how to log into my steering column without heaving their sociopathic butts off the couch, all through an Internet hook I neither asked for nor use? That’s definitely not fair. Yet when I get the inevitable recall notice, you can bet I’m not going to gloss over it because I don’t feel like dealing with bad news. Into the shop I'll go.

Heed those warnings. If e-hussy hookup site A gets hacked to the detriment of thousands of marriages and careers, then maybe you want do your best to remove yourself from e-floozy hookup site B. Or if researchers spew out study after study decrying the total lack of security on this burgeoning Internets of Any Freaking Thing, like this latest one from HP, then maybe don’t blindly hook your hastily developed Apple Watch apps to every digital service you can find. A wee bit of caution could be the order of the day.

This isn’t going to get better anytime soon. Smartglasses will start switching into WelderMask mode as soon as your smartcar tells them it’s hit 75mph. That smartfridge is going to delete all your shopping list data and instead buy 40 pounds of cheese every week. And self-driving cars? Are you kidding? Until the gadget industry puts half as much effort into security as it does into empty glitz and monetization, the Internet of things is going to be to digital safety as Hulk Hogan is to civil rights.

But what do I know? I’m a municipal jailbird with three-day old scotch stains on my shirt and a new car that might try to kill me.

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