That bizarre scenario could take place for real, should the theorists behind the "IoT worm" concept be right about what depressing road our stupid connected smart technology is taking us down.
A paper suggesting a massive chain reaction of tech failures is behind this latest bit of doom, with the authors using the Philips Hue smart lightbulb and the drone's ZigBee wireless system as their in -- and things progressing apocalyptically from there by using worms to infiltrate more devices, so that within minutes of a future attack the cash machines might stop working and everyone's looting JD Sports.
They've put together a concept execution of an IoT drone attack:
The idea behind the attack was to initiate a malicious firmware update of the Hue bulbs via drone, then use that to trigger blackouts or fire off DDoS attacks that could cripple a city -- letting bad people steal everything. Here they only hacked some bulbs to flash S.O.S. in morse code, with the hackers generously telling Philips about the vulnerability they used to crack the Hues rather than crashing the whole world. [NYT via The Verge]