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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

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 5 hours ago - Technology

A dark view of the future of autonomous weapons

A still from the video "If Human: Kill ( )." Image: Future of Life Institute

A new short film warns of the coming risks posed by the development and proliferation of lethal autonomous weapons.

Why it matters: Drones with the ability to autonomously target and kill without the assistance of a human operator are reportedly already being used on battlefields, and time is running out to craft a global ban of what could be a destabilizing and terrifying new class of weapon.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine — Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

The latest: Lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley told the Detroit News they are "returning to the area to be arraigned," after law enforcement officials announced a search for the Crumbleys had been initiated.