The hackable technology that worries even a legendary con man

Before we release new technology into the ether, we need to make safeguards so that bad actors can't misuse them.

FRANK W. ABAGNALE: All the things that worry me are autonomous cars, things to hack vehicles, pacemakers, your laptop at home where you didn't cover the camera and someone is watching everything you're doing in your house or listening to everything you're doing in your house. All those things give me great concern.

Right now cybercrime is basically a financial crime. Its a business of stealing money or stealing data. Data is money. However, I think its going to turn a lot blacker than that. We have the ability right now as I speak to you to shut someones pacemaker off but were limited by distance. We have to be within 35 feet of the victim. I could walk by you on the sidewalk, turn off your pacemaker, speed it up or any bodily device you have on you controlled by a chip or a computer program. We have that ability right now but again limited by distance.

We have the ability now for law enforcement to pull over a vehicle on the interstate if they can get within 35 feet of the vehicle because we know that the typical car has about 240 computer components in it. We can lock the car doors, lock the power windows, turn on the airbag, shut off the motor and take the car and pull it over. We can do that now but were limited to distance of 35 feet. So the question is five years from now will that be 35 miles, 350 miles, 3,500 miles away? Im afraid as the future comes and especially when you talk about cars that drive themselves. The ability to kidnap the person in the car and lock them in the car. The ability to just take over the car and crash the car. Those are the things that havent been answered that no one has figured out yet how they would stop that from happening. And those are the things that concern me.

We develop a lot of technology but we never go to the final step and that is the last question of the development in how would someone misuse this technology and lets make sure it cant be done. In your house you have a device you talk to and you say, "Hey, what time of day is it? Whats on TV tonight? Order me this from Amazon." Its a voice activated device easily hacked and manipulated to reverse to hear everything you say in your house. If you have cameras in your house maybe because of dog watching, babysitting, a hacker can easily reverse the camera so they can see everything that goes on in your house and watch it. The same with your outside cameras. We develop those technologies, we want to make them inexpensive, number one, so they're not encrypted. They don't have a lot of technology in them. And two, where its return on investment. We want our money back right away.

And marketing is saying, "Hey, this is great! Weve got to get this out right away!" Without asking that question what if someone were to do this with it and how could we stop that now before we ever put it in the marketplace. Very little companies do that. Most of the technology out there can be hacked, can be manipulated because we dont do those things.

  • Right now cybercrime is basically a financial crime — it's a business of stealing people's money or stealing their data. Data has value.
  • We develop a lot of technology — we need to always ask the question how the new innovation can be misused and make safeguards so that it cannot be done.
  • Because we currently don't do these things, we have hackable vehicles, pacemakers, and laptops.


Ethan Hawke: You are everything and you are nothing

The actor's greatest heroes exhibited humility in their actions, a view he tries to emulate.

Videos
  • Ethan Hawke is inspired by others' excellence and ability to see the context of the larger community, those who value their work but don't take it too seriously.
  • One of his heroes, River Phoenix, exhibited this kind of humility by taking on roles that were meaningful to him but were seen as controversial.
  • "Phil Hoffman used to say this all the time, that it's the most important thing in the world and it doesn't matter, and you have to hold that coin together and flip it around. It's all true all the time," he says.

Indeh: A Story of the Apache Wars


A healthy sex life can help minimize depression and anxiety symptoms

When you struggle with anxiety or depression, sex may be the last thing on your mind. But understanding the physiological and mental benefits of a healthy sex life can help it become a tool for well-being.

Photo: Getty Images
Sponsored by Sofia Gray
  • The physiological responses our bodies have to sex can minimize the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Deficiencies in nitric oxide are associated with irritability, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and less energy. Having sex increases your body's nitric oxide levels.
  • Sex also increases epinephrine, oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, all of which are linked to mood, behavior, and well-being.
Keep reading

New York Public Library's 10 most checked-out books of all time

The most popular books of the past 125 years, and where to get them.

NYPL/Public Domain
Gear
  • New York Public library is celebrating its 125th birthday in 2020. With over 90 locations across New York City's boroughs, it is the nation's largest public library system.
  • Based on circulation data, popularity, trends, and other criteria dating back to 1895, these books are considered the library's most checked-out titles of all time.
  • "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats was checked out 485,583 times and takes the top spot, but one librarian's hatred of another book may have robbed it of the crown.
Keep reading