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Inaugural Lecture of Professor Barry Irwin

Date: 28 March 2019 18:30 - 28 March 2019 19:30
Location: Eden Grove Blue Lecture Theatre
Organiser: Benita Rama (Phone 046 603 8520)
Event Type: Public Lecture

You are cordially invited to the Inaugural Lecture of Professor Barry Irwin, PhD graduate of Computer Science (Rhodes University).

TITLE: Digital Toast: The risk of the Machines

ABSTRACT (Summary):

The origins and evolution of ‘smart’ systems are explored along with the emerging trends of them increasingly being connected to the global Internet. In recent years there has been a marked evolution from these systems being strictly in the domain of industry in the form of PLC and more generically SCADA, to the consumer space in our homes, and used on a daily basis.   While this provides for great convenience, particularly in the consumer space, this needs to be tempered with the recognition of a number of risks associated with the reckless abandon with which these systems are being connected to the Internet of Things.

A number of case studies are considered to illustrate the wide ranging impact of the compromise of such devices. These range from sabotaged nuclear enrichment in Iran, disrupted power grids in the Ukraine, a global network attack orchestrated by  Smart TV’s and media players in homes across the world, millions of credit cards stolen and a casino heist  thanks to a tropical fish tank.

Reflecting on these the realities and risk relating to the hyper-connected ‘smart’ world of the future is laid out, and the question posed:

Just because we can connect it to the internet to make it ‘smart’, should we?

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