NPR’s Art Silverman reads a lot of crime thrillers. In the last year, he’s noticed “The Internet of Things” seems to being playing a big role as the weapon of choice.
For writers of crime fiction, those vulnerabilities in the Internet of things present an opportunity. NPR’s Art Silverman realized that when he picked up some of the new books coming into the office.
Why should murderers use a gun when they can tamper with a toaster, fiddle with a freezer or pose a threat to a thermometer? The crime writer, Jeffery Deaver says that his job really is to scare the socks off his readers.
His detective story “The Steel Kiss” came out this year. In it, his villain, a man named Vernon Griffith, runs around New York City doing dirty digital deeds like hacking into the controls of an escalator.
Deaver says that, you want to know about the Internet of things. Smart products from household lights all the way up to the dangerous ones our boy is using are embedded with wireless connectivity circuits.
All this hacking of the Internet of things in these novels is not over yet. Folks at a website called crimefictionlover.com told me that next summer, be ready for “Flashmob” by Christopher Farnsworth and “The Dark Net” by Benjamin Percy.
Most crime writers are new to technology, so they have to research everything carefully. But some come from the tech world. Author William Hertling worked for 20 years as a software engineer and was a big reader.
He says that old spy game was played with miniature cameras and microphones. It’s just the tools that have changed. His latest book is “Kill Process.” A tech expert named Angie uses her skills to exploit smart home devices. She wants to kill men she thinks are abusing their spouses. “I go after the furnace, a smart device like every appliance built in last five years. The furnace doesn’t possess any protection at all besides the original factory password shared on countless,” he says.Hertling takes us step by step as Angie penetrates the system. No need for breaking and entering – just jump over digital hurdles, and Angie is all set to kill.
Silverman says that now he has absolutely nowhere to go to escape from technology, not even in crime fiction.