Machine-to-machine (M2M) communication refers to technologies that allow both wireless and wired systems to communicate with other devices of the same ability. It could be a refrigerator that communicates with a home server to notify a resident that it's time to buy milk and eggs, it could be an airport camera that takes a photo of a person's face and cross references the image with a database of known terrorists, or it could be a medical device that regulates oxygen to an accident victim and then alerts hospital staff when that person's heart rate drops below a certain threshold. While the practical technological possibilities of M2M are inspiring as it has the potential to remove human error from so many situations, there are still too many questions surrounding how to best secure it.
Fortinet predicts that next year we will see the first instance of M2M hacking that has not been exploited historically, most likely in a platform related to national security, such as a weapons development facility. This will likely happen by poisoning information streams that transverse the M2M channel -- making one machine mishandle the poisoned information, creating a vulnerability and thus allowing an attacker access at this vulnerable point.
Fortinet, a leader in high-performance network security, recently revealed FortiGuard Labs' 2013 threat predictions, highlighting six threats to watch out for next year. Expected trends include mobile advanced persistent threats, IPv6 safe havens and exploits through machine-to-machine communications.