Sep 22, 2018

Why 5G keeps security experts awake

Illustration :Sarah Grillo, Rebecca Zisser/Axios

There are dimensions to security in the 5G age that no one, including the experts, has quite figured out yet.

Why it matters: If you think today's cybersecurity landscape is treacherous, just wait.

The "Internet of Things" problem: Devices for automating your home favor low prices over strong security, making them easy picking for hackers.

  • People secure those devices today by buying additional products to monitor home-network traffic.
  • But with 5G, many more devices will bypass that network and connect directly to the internet.
  • The problem isn't one hacked toaster — it's millions of controllable hijacked gizmos
  • Hackers can network together legions of devices to flood servers with so much traffic that they collapse. A recent website outage spanning Twitter, Netflix and Etsy was caused by weakly secured web cameras.

Data overload: The growth in connected devices also means an unimaginable amount of data will now be stored with every consumer.

  • Expect enormous privacy controversies. Who knows what kinds of data a new universe of smart bathroom products will collect or sell to advertisers?
  • The data explosion will also demand a rapid increase in cloud security in industries that haven’t much needed it in the past.

Security concerns could limit 5G in rural areas, where smaller carriers operate at lower profit margins.

  • When these providers upgrade services, including potentially providing 5G, they sometimes use cheaper Chinese hardware from companies like ZTE and Huawei.
  • But the same providers rely on federal funding to buy equipment, which the FCC seems poised to pull, and the private carriers might not be ready to make up the difference.

Go deeper: 5G set to speed up security risks

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,014,673 — Total deaths: 52,973 — Total recoveries: 210,335Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 244,678 — Total deaths: 5,911 — Total recoveries: 9,058Map.
  3. 2020 updates: The Democratic National Committee said its July convention will be postponed until August because of the coronavirus. A federal judge declined to delay Wisconsin's April 7 primary election.
  4. Jobs latest: Coronavirus unemployment numbers are like a natural disaster hitting every state.
  5. Public health latest: Anthony Fauci called for all states across the U.S. to issue stay-at-home orders. The FDA will allow blood donations from gay men after 3-month waiting period, citing "urgent need."
  6. Business latest: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said oil companies are eligible for aid from new lending programs the Federal Reserve is setting up, but not direct loans from his department.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Navy removes captain of aircraft carrier who sounded alarm about coronavirus.
  8. 1 future thing: In developing countries, consequences of COVID-19 could be deeper and far more difficult to recover from.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Mark Meadows considers new White House press secretary

Photos: Alyssa Farah, Defense Department; Stephanie Grisham, Alex Wong/Getty Images; Kayleigh McEnany, Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has privately discussed bringing on Pentagon spokesperson Alyssa Farah or Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany as a new White House press secretary, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: Meadows' start on Tuesday as Trump's new chief presents a chance to overhaul a press shop that's kept a low profile since President Trump ended the tradition of daily press secretary briefings.

CNN: Fauci advises all states issue stay-at-home orders

Dr. Anthony Fauci listens to President Trump speak during a briefing on April 1. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci recommended on Thursday that all states across the U.S. implement stay-at-home orders, at a CNN town hall.

Why it matters: The recommendation stands in contrast to President Trump's calls for "flexibility." Nearly 4o states have issued stay-at-home orders to promote social distancing as a way to combat the novel coronavirus — but the orders vary in strictness and duration.

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