Do you guys remember WannaCry? Last year, in May, some hackers unleashed malware that propagated through an exploit in older Windows-based systems, encrypting data and essentially holding the owner of the system or device hostage unless the user paid a ransom in Bitcoin. Users saw a pop-up that requested a ransom be paid or else all their data would be deleted. It started in Asia and made its way through Europe before the vulnerability was patched up, halting the malware in its tracks. Before that happened though, it wormed (pun intended) its way into the technological business of everyone from your grandma to a British hospital system (yikes) to even the German state railway’s digital signage network.
This was a reminder of the serious cyber threats our industry faces. Viktor Petersson of Screenly has some thoughts on security for the digital signage industry, and gives advice in his column today. In a related story, hackers at a conference last week demonstrated how a vulnerability in Crestron touch panels could be used to access networks, steal user passwords and possibly even turn AV equipment into surveillance devices. Mark Coxon talks about that story in his column today.
I also visited NEC Display’s new executive briefing center near Chicago recently, where I interviewed several people from NEC and from the integrator and consulting firm that worked on designing the space. My story, with video interviews is also in this edition.