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Internet of Things, stolen fingerprints among biggest scam predictions for 2017

Before you get into that driverless car, you may want to make sure it isn’t going to run you over first.

Figuratively speaking, of course. That car may get hacked before you even put your seatbelt on, as some technology that is aimed to make our lives easier may be vulnerable to scams and hackers, predictive analytics (and credit score) company FICO announced.

Among the findings: your Internet of Things devices will come back to haunt you.

“I predict that in 2017 our personal lives, as well as infrastructure; will be brought down by the devices we design to make things easier,” says FICO chief analytics officer Scott Zoldi. “I’m not sure which IoT category or device type it will be, but driverless cars raise the question; What is the quality of the security of code inside that fancy new red car?”

The Internet of Things, or smart devices that make your life easier, is full of technology we would all love to have but don’t consider the consequences of having. From door locks to air conditioning, from refrigerators to washing machines, the IoT lives all around us. The smarter technology gets, the easier our lives get; But we are making ourselves more at risk than ever before to have our data stolen by hooking everything up to the Internet.

Better technology, higher risk

The good news is that our technology is getting smarter, which means our lives are getting easier. The bad news is that our security for that technology isn’t up to par.

FICO predicts those fast and easy convenience apps — like wallets, banking, and hotel check-ins; are great for consumers on the go, but may not be up to security snuff quite yet.

“As the smartphone further cements itself into the center of our universe, we’ll see more and more fraud and security defenses shift to it; since the phone is such a valuable source of information to understand customer behavior,” says FICO VP of fraud solutions TJ Horan. “In the payments world, innovation sometimes comes in with a big swoop. Most of the time it pitterpatters in on baby steps.”

2017: the year your fingerprints get hacked

As your refrigerator notes who you are and your preferences; hackers may have an easier time not only getting into your meal prep, but also your email. FICO says biometric security data may be the biggest security risk of the year.

“Starting with Apple TouchID, biometric identification has now gone mainstream. Even three-year-old kids’ fingerprints are being captured when they visit Disney World,” the report says.

Stolen fingerprints will be a huge issue if biometric technology is used to verify bank accounts, home security systems and even travel verifications. “You always have the option of changing your password, but you can’t change your fingerprints. Recovering from compromised biometric intel is very challenging indeed.”

FICO also predicts another “Panama Papers” revelation, more human trafficking and illicit migration, and slower EMV (credit card chips) migration. It’s going to be a rough year, so keep an eye on your accounts.

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Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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