Connected devices like smart thermostats, smart washing machines, smart locks, smart fridges, and etc. are all great ideas. The idea of being able to remotely turn them on, set them on a schedule, adjust themselves based on your needs, and so on are huge conveniences, but they also seem to be potential security risks.
Recently it has been discovered by the folks at Pen Test Partners (viaTechdirt) that a smart kettle made by a company called Smarter is susceptible to hacks. Dubbed the iKettle, this is a $150 device that according to the company, will save you two days a year in wasted waiting time. The idea is that you can turn the kettle on anytime via a smartphone app, meaning that on the way home you could turn it on and come home to a freshly boiled water.
Like we said, it’s a convenience albeit a novel one, but as the researchers have pointed out, “The fundamental issue is that if you have this kettle it’s possible for someone to get your wireless network key, and help themselves to whatever is on your network, or use your Wi-Fi for whatever purpose they choose.”
Once the hackers have appropriated your WiFi key, what happens is that they can access your home network and access files that might stored/shared on it. They can change your DNS settings to reroute your internet traffic, and more. Granted this does seem to be a worst-case-scenario kind of situation, but as they have pointed out, it does serve to highlight how certain Internet of Things devices aren’t as secure as we would like.
This means that unless you know that their security has been proven, perhaps it might not necessarily be such a great idea to start connecting all your gadgets to the internet just yet
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