We are all well aware of the threat posed by ransomware attacks for personal computers and handheld computing devices. But researches are pointing out towards another trend in near future i.e. infecting robots with ransomware. It entails malfunctioning of the robot following a ransomware attack, and then the attackers will ask for money for ransomware removal in order to restore the robot’s original configuration.
A security company has conducted a research on this prospect. They use a custom-built ransomware against two humanoids. According to the research, both of the robots started to insult the audience and demanded money for ransomware repair.
At first, it seems comical to see a tiny humanoid making threats and using foul language. But in actual this contains severe repercussions for businesses that are gradually shifting their operations to automated systems propelled by artificial intelligence. A ransomware attack of this nature will bring the operations of such companies to a standstill.
Taking control of robots directly involved in rendering the products/ services and demanding ransom to restore their original settings is a simple template that the attacks are going to follow.
For now restoring ransomware files is not the highest concern because robots don’t yet store information of high value for which businesses will be willing to pay any ransom. However, the researchers have tested the other parameters of ransomware attacks on robots and they are quite worrying.
The malicious code of ransomware can provide its operators complete control of infected robots. They will have the options to either shut it down or modify its operations. Both of these prospects are highly treacherous for organizations that use robots for their large scale business operations. Attackers can transmit ransomware into the robot if they get an access to the internet connection on which the robot operates on.
If businesses have to pay extra for ransomware recovery while waiting for days and weeks to get back the control of their humanoid machines then it is only natural for them to think of paying the attackers for quick fix. This research has yet again highlighted the importance of strict cyber security measures for robots.