Thanks to smartphones, on-board GPS navigation systems, Bluetooth and emerging technology like 3D printing, we may be entering a golden age for hackers and cyber criminals. The risk of identity theft, compromised bank accounts and other technological scams could be increasing.

A number of startling new hacking exploits were revealed recently at Black Hat and Def Con, both annual computer crime conferences. Experts gathered and shared the vulnerabilities they discovered in commonly used technologies from wireless networks to high-security locks.

Let’s take a look at the 8 top exploits hackers are revealing at the conferences.


1. Hackers Can Find Your Old, Deleted Snapchats

Those precious Snapchats you get from all of your friends aren’t deleted, contrary to popular belief. Security experts have found ways to retrieve deleted Snapchats from deep within your phone’s storage.

While there might not be any data in your old Snapchats that a hacker could use for identity theft or other nefarious purposes, you might want to censor what you Snapchat just to be safe.


2. Your GoPro Can Be Used to Spy on You

Photo of a kayaker taken with a GoPro camera

Thanks to wireless technology, your GoPro is now a spy cam.

There are also people out there who wants to see your GoPro videos.

Two security researchers found a way to exploit a software program that effectively turns your GoPro into a remote audio and video bug.

As The Verge puts it, this

“…could be trouble for soldiers using the cameras to record themselves on duty in Afghanistan.”


3. High-Security Locks can be Picked with 3D-Printed Keys

High security locks? “No problem,” say hackers. A team of hackers at Def Con are presented software that can generate 3D models for keys of high-security locks.

All it takes is knowing the lock’s serial number — something usually located right on the lock itself.


4. Your Cell Phone Can Be Tracked with Cheap Equipment

Cheap, tiny boxes and sensors can record and track all nearby cellular activity and there are a number of devices capable of doing this.

The first device is a $250 box that routes all cell phone traffic within a certain range.

GPS and Google Maps

You don’t have much privacy if you carry a cell phone. Hackers can be nearby picking up everything you send and receive.

The second is a system of $60 sensors that can be planted around a specific area, designed to track your every move and report it back to the hacker. Scary.


5. Hackers Could Even Shut Down a Power Plant

The problem when all power plants use the same wireless technology? Hackers find vulnerabilities that can have devastating consequences. Using a simple radio transceiver, hackers can exploit vulnerabilities to send false sensor measurements or shut down a plant entirely.


6. Pacemakers are Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks

Imagine being shocked to death or having a pacemaker simply fail due to cyber attack. That’s what one cyber security researcher, Barnaby Jack, was due to present upon before his sudden death prior to the conferences. But the late researcher’s study was still confirmed — hackers can theoretically stop a patient’s heart from 30 feet away.


7. Your Car is Vulnerable to Hackers

Imagine your breaks suddenly stop working or you fuel gauge shows full when it’s actually empty. As “science fiction” as this sounds, car hackings are now reality.

All it takes is for someone to remotely break into your car via Bluetooth or apply a few small tweaks under the hood.


8. You’re being Hacked by the Government

Unfortunately, when the government wants access to your private date, private companies give it to them. Backdoor access is baked into many commonly used online services that the government accesses when it pleases.

To top it off, ACLU senior policy analyst Chris Soghoian claims the government has a team of hackers in Virginia prepared to hack American citizens.


What Do You Think?

Shocked by any of these new hacking methods? What other technologies do you think hackers might exploit? Tell us what you think in the comments.


See Also

4 Tips That Explain How To Avoid Phishing Scams and Email Spam
The 9 Bad Email Habits That Expose You to Scams and Identity Theft
How To Deal with a Security Breach and Protect Your Private Info

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