Robots To Become Victims of Cyber Attacks: Researchers

The huge software firms which bring the software to life by using robots are affected by potential vulnerabilities which allow the attackers to remotely take control of the machines, says an analysis done by security firmIOActive.

In the very near future, Robots will become very common and we can find them at all most any place likeRobots businesses, homes, the military and law enforcement, industrial environments, and healthcare organisations. The International Data Corporation (IDC) has estimated that in January that the worldwide spending on robotics and related services will reach the mark of $188 billion by 2020.

There are many cases in the past years where many people are injured in accidents involving the robots, but experts warn that robots could pose a serious threat if they are vulnerable to remote hacker attacks.

IOActive researchers have analyzed home, industrial and business robots from six different vendors:UBTECH Robotics (Alpha 1S and Alpha 2), SoftBank Robotics (NAO and Pepper robots), Universal Robots (UR3, UR5 and UR10), ROBOTIS (ROBOTIS OP2 and THORMANG3), Asratec Corp (V-Sido robot control system) and Rethink Robotics (Baxter and Sawyer).

The researchers still have not acquired the real robots and instead they conducted tests on their mobile applications and firmware.

IOActive said it has identified nearly 50 vulnerabilities in the tested components, but the security firm noted that it did not conduct an in-depth analysis, which suggests that the actual number of weaknesses is likely much higher.

The company has also published a paper providing some non-technical description about the vulnerabilities. The technical details will be made available after the vendors have had a chance to address the flaws.

IOActive told SecurityWeek that it has notified all affected vendors, but only four of them have responded so far: SoftBank Robotics, UBTECH Robotics, Universal Robots and Rethink Robotics.


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