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Business trends

Cyber debris: Outdated cameras risk stifling IoT boom

Devices that are no longer used but still online give hackers an opening

Security cameras are seen on a building at the Bund in Shanghai, China. Outdated cameras are easily used by hackers to launch cyberattacks.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- People who launch satellites know the dangers of space junk. Parts of old rockets and other derelict craft circle the Earth, sometimes crashing into expensive new gear.

Just as in outer space, so a similar danger lurks in cyberspace. "Cyber debris" -- routers, webcams and other devices that are no longer used but are still online -- offer a tempting target for hackers. With the growth of the internet of things, the problem is set to spread to everyday appliances such as washing machines, microwave ovens and refrigerators.

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