I see the interest in home automation, lights, switches and other devices in the home you can control remotely or via voice.
Does this open up more places for malware, ransomware, and plain old bugs to take control of your home just like they do with Power Grids and Elections?
At the moment I use a key in a door and flick my switches on/off and turn the cooker on/off and my fridge keeps things cold. I’m not so sure i see a benefit of home automation.
I am sure there are benefits, of the convenience kind, so you don’t have to burn that Calorie getting up to turn a light on/off or burn two Calories moving to kitchen to turn the oven on. But there are also downsides, more things to accidentally or deliberately wrong.
Scenarios - are these possible?
- you get an email saying the entire contents of your freezer will be ruined if you don’t pay some Bitcoin to an address. You are on vacation for 2 weeks.
- you get an email saying saying your house will be burned down by turning on the cooker if you don’t pay some Bitcoins.
- you left your kids in the house as they getting old enough, you then get a threat they will turn off your smoke alarms and set fire to the house. They also remotely controlled your car so you cannot unlock it to get home quick enough.
I think the plain old bugs will be a big enough issue without the hackers part, therefore being unreliable, inconsistent, and inconvenient.
Couldn’t agree with you more, but I’m still interested.
It’s great that technology is making more and more things possible but it begs the question, how lazy are we getting? When you can’t get up to turn off the lights or close the blinds? As it is, we (myself included), are walking around with our heads buried in our phones. We are becoming too dependent on technology and electronics that we don’t have the need or want to think for ourselves anymore. As much as I love technology and owning it, I think the thought of automation freaks me out. @nigelhealy has some valid points about “malware, ransomware, and plain old bugs” as well as hackers. I don’t know if I feel comfortable enough to run my whole life from my electronic devices without fear of having my privacy invaded. I don’t plan on automating my home anytime soon.
I have a huge interest in technology things, every technological innovation has a good side and a bad side. We have to accept the risks.
This at the moment is quite plausible but at the same time unlikely as well.
Unless a quite skilled hacker has some grudge against you specifically, I do not see these scenarios playing out. What are the chances that a hacker will target your house’s smoke alarm AND your specific car from unlocking. If the hacker is targeting the masses, im also quite certain that there will be some people who will be home when they receive the threat, therefore allowing the authorities to know about this immediately.
Now, it is hard enough as it is to get a lot of people on new technology these days, so I humbly doubt that the whole neighborhood will have many, if not, the same automated technology pieces installed in their house. In our current world where the people who have smart appliances are the minorities, is there really a business for the hackers to exploit?
There is also the issue of there being too many products that are “smart.” While it is a problem in current technology because users are either windows or mac, with windows users being prone to being hacked because they are the masses and people dont do security update or are plain gullible to phishing schemes, reputable companies like Google and Amazon who are making these products are rarely hacked on their end due to strong security measures.
However, we are still miles away from the real automation that everyone dreams of, so I think we can rest assured for now.
I have a massive interest in these things. But it is only an interest. I don’t own any home automation devices (other than “normal” house security).
My main issue with them is the platform is very young. Changing quickly, and no standard for security of this new network. For example:
It would be all too easy to see if someone was actually in a house by hacking the “lights” network and turning them off from outside. Then waiting to see how quickly they come back on.
As such, makes a burglars job much easier, and less risky.
I don’t know what the possibilities of this happening with a voice assistant is, but if you control everything with your phone they’d need to get to your phone in order to controll everything.
Oh, voice control… You know those adverts of Amazon’s that advertise how great Alexa is by giving you a demonstration?
If you have an Echo in the room when the advert comes on, it does what the advert asks…
Same if a radio present gives it an instruction when you have a radio on (that isn’t being played through Echo).
How annoying is that?!
ROFL!!! Hilarious. I don’t think Burger King appreciates that.
I am not yet a fan of the automation. I do not have anything automated in my house as yet
well more and more money is being dropped into research regarding defense against these attacks. One day their might even be cyber police that will get cyber warrants to hack into a persons computer and then physically arrest them. Also a self defense software could be developed, where when an unknown attack is detected is hacks the person forwarding all of their information to the Police.
I really see no point in hacking a toaster and changing is code to cause it to overheat, that seems too time consuming. Why not just hack credit cards transferring money into bitcoin and sending it overseas to other countries where Police have no authority? Why not use their money to buy hundreds of Powercore+ 20100 so you can roll around in Anker batteries knowing you have Unlimited power?
The example of hacking a toaster, true if it we’re done as you said, a hack for a specific toaster has little to gain, but what if you emailed the maker of the toaster saying you’d hack them all to force the maker to pay a substantial sum? So “pay me $1M or your brand value will plummet due to hundreds or thousands of household fires”.
For those of us that are fine with the threats Nigel mentioned, here is what Eufy is planning on releasing by the end of the year. What are you most excited for?
agreed. if you’re buying these things it means you probably know the risk.
I see ransomware attacks holding our food hostage in our future
If I could provide an opinion from the flip side…
I’m a forgetful person, always wondering if I left a light on when I leave the house. Hacking aside, home automation is definitely an OCDer’s heaven as all my lights are automatically turned off and the alarm is enabled when I leave the house.
Sounds like an Alzheimer’s accelerator.
“I don’t need to concentrate if I locked the door, or turned a light off, I can let my brain cells die and use this app”.