A new type of Internet-connected device could potentially be responsible for a massive increase in Internet-related disasters.
That’s according to a new paper published by a team of researchers in the journal Energy Policy.
In the paper, they examine how a connected thermostat could potentially cause a “black swan” scenario, in which an entire ecosystem of connected devices, including refrigerators, light bulbs, air conditioners, and air-conditioning fans, all die or be rendered useless.
The authors also point out that this would only be possible if the connected devices have the potential to harm other users.
They also point to other potential dangers of the connected thertopat: It could be hacked to make it turn on more frequently, for instance, or even the system could become infected with malware.
These issues, they argue, should be addressed before the connected device becomes a threat.