Internet-connected gas pumps could be hackers next target

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It wasn’t that long ago that gas pumps were simple mechanical fuel delivery systems that required no internet connectivity. I can even remember when gas pumps measured your fuel and costs via a mechanical counter and not a digital counter. To date myself even further, I can remember when gas was under US$1 a gallon, but I digress.

These days, gas pumps are heading into the world of IoT (Internet of Things). As we become more assimilated to the idea of interconnectivity, companies continue to add to those connections—everything from doorbells to cars and speakers to gas pumps. But there is a danger to joining the collective stream of interconnected devices, hackers, and hacking.

Researchers at Trend Micro now believe that “dark web” hackers will be targeting internet-connected gas pumps soon.

However, users of Russian underground forums are also requesting information on how to hack gas pumps, with tutorials available on the inner workings of commercial pumps, including those with programmable logic controllers. These controllers are often found in factories and other industrial environments and can be used to help with managing equipment remotely.

Researchers also note that posts on gas pump hacking also frequently appear in Portuguese language forums, even featuring an in-depth, step-by-step technical tutorial on how to hack gas pumps for Brazilian users. In one case, a user demonstrates how they were able to remotely change the name of a pump.

gas pumps internet connected

The Trend Micro report is part of a broader conversation concerning the possible exploit of smart meters used by government agencies. There are many other points in the report, but the idea of gas pumps being hacked is concerning.

Hackers could potentially do everything from scraping a user’s credit or debit card details to changing the sensors to deliver more fuel than needed in a vehicle causing a spill, which could result in injury or fire.

While the idea of connecting the entire world and its services seems like a great one, that idea bears a lot of risk and potential consequences. Companies must have a solid security plan in place, or they should reconsider the idea entirely. It is entirely possible that an old-school gas pump would work just fine in 2019.

What are your thoughts on internet-connected devices in our goods and services? Do you think we need all of this connectivity in everything we do? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, or on Facebook. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network.

[button link=”” icon=”fa-external-link” side=”left” target=”blank” color=”285b5e” textcolor=”ffffff”]Source: ZDNet[/button]

Last Updated on February 17, 2021.


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