Cyber-security is now part of all our lives. "Patches" and other security updates arrive for phones, tablets and PCs. Consultants remind us all not to open unknown files or plug unfamiliar memory sticks into our computers. And yet, as a special report points out, digital walls keep on being breached. Last year more than 800m digital records, such as credit- and debit-card details, were pinched (偷取) or lost, more than three times as many as in 2012.
Now a new phase in this contest is emerging: "the internet of things". This involves embedding miniature computers in objects and connecting them to the internet using wireless technology. Cisco, a technology company, predicts that 50 billion connected devices will be in circulation by the end of the decade, up from 11 billion last year. Web-connected cars and smart appliances in homes are becoming more common, as are medical devices that can be monitored by doctors many miles from their patients.
Such connectivity offers many advantages, from being able to adjust your house's heating when you are in the office to alerting your doctor that your insulin (胰岛素) level has risen. But it also gives malicious hackers an easy way to burrow (搜寻) deeper into people's lives. The small, embedded computers at the center of the internet of things do not have as much processing power or memory as, say, a smartphone, so security software on them tends to be rudimentary(不完善的). There have already been instances of nefarious (邪恶的) types taking control ofwebcams (网络摄像头), televisions and even a fridge, which was roped into a network of computers pumping out e-mail spam. And security researchers have found ways of hacking into some kinds of medical devices and cars, though this still requires specialist knowledge and kit. The wireless heart monitor of Dick Cheney, America's former vice-president, was modified to stop remote assassination attempts.
For governments, the temptation will be to panic and do too much. They should make clear that web-connected gadgets (小器具) are covered by existing safety laws and existing product-liability regimes: last year Japan's Toyota was successfully sued for installing malfunctioning, but not web-connected, software. Wrongdoers should be punished, but the best prompt for securing the internet of things is competition. Either tech firms will find ways to make web-connected gadgets more dependable, or people will decide they can live without them. Who needs a smart fridge anyway?
6. What does the author try to draw attention to in the first paragraph?
A) Cyber safety.
C) Unfamiliar memory sticks.
D) Digital records.
7. How does "the internet of things" work?
A) Tracking down the digital records of credit- and debit-card details.
B) Circulating web-connected devices which are monitored by professionals.
C) Employing wireless technology to connect miniature computers in objects to the internet.
D) Hacking into some kinds of medical devices and cars without being noticed.
8. Which of the following can be called "the internet of things"?
B) E-mail spam.
C) Smart appliances at home.
D) Heart monitor.
9. Why is security software vulnerable to attack?
A) There are too many "patches" to be fixed.
B) Hackers can take control of people's webcams and televisions at home.
C) No safety laws and product-liability regulations have been passed.
D) The embedded computers lack enough processing memory.
10. What can ensure the safety of the internet of things according to the passage?