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The Nightmare On Connected Home Street 186

Posted by timothy
from the coming-from-inside-the-house dept.
theodp (442580) writes With the battle for the connected home underway, Wired's Mat Honan offered his humorous and scary Friday the 13th take on what life in the connected home of the future might be like. "I wake up at four to some old-timey dubstep spewing from my pillows," Honan begins. "The lights are flashing. My alarm clock is blasting Skrillex or Deadmau5 or something, I don't know. I never listened to dubstep, and in fact the entire genre is on my banned list. You see, my house has a virus again. Technically it's malware. But there's no patch yet, and pretty much everyone's got it. Homes up and down the block are lit up, even at this early hour. Thankfully this one is fairly benign. It sets off the alarm with music I blacklisted decades ago on Pandora. It takes a picture of me as I get out of the shower every morning and uploads it to Facebook. No big deal." Having been the victim of an epic hacking, Honan can't be faulted for worrying.
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The Nightmare On Connected Home Street

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  • What a joke.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bjwest (14070) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @08:47AM (#47239975)

    The internet of things is nothing but a marketers (and hackers) wet dream. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - there is no reason what so ever for each device to be directly connected to the internet, or have internet access, for that matter. The refrigerator doesn't need access to the internet, neither does the washer and drier, toaster, or even the thermostat. One home router and a single control unit is all that's needed, or both in one unit. Let that control your food, soap and dryer sheet inventory. Each unit can tell the control system when a unit of measure is used, and it can keep track. Access to the internet is limited to that one device and there aren't 20 different ways to hack into my network. Of course, this will never fly. Each manufacturer will want to hold the patents on the standards, so they can charge for what should be a free and open standard. No one will ever play nicely so the general public can benefit rather than the elite corporations.

    Fuck them, I'm glad I have the skills and knowledge to do this on my own, without all their patent encumbered, insecure crap. Of course, my washer and drier, refrigerator and oven will remain dumb, as they should.

  • Re:Uh-oh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dinfinity (2300094) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @10:33AM (#47240269)

    The times of your PC speaker blasting Yankee Doodle at 17:00 are long gone.

    TFA is overlooking a very important part of how hacking and viruses work anno 2014 and that is that hackers and virus makers have gone from people just messing around to people making hard cash or disrupting very specific and powerful entities. If anything, the symptoms described would only be part of ransomware or some terrorist attack when directed at average Joes.

    Like the devices targeted by most viruses today, these sorts of devices will mainly be infected to track and sell data, to be able to use them for ddossing or cryptomining, and as a vector to extract financial authorization data. I don't think the 'my house has a virus and now I'm hearing Skrillex every day' is going to be very prevalent.

    Of course the threat is real and the results when being targeted specifically more dangerous (to the body) than in traditional hacking. In that sense, we do need to be extra concerned with safety when it comes to 'connected homes'.

  • by dissy (172727) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @11:46AM (#47240493)

    With printers, I've never understood why they need to know how to get out of your LAN, they just need a valid local address; no gateway, no DNS required.

    Most printer vendors these days offer a feature to print from the internet, and they figure (correctly I suspect) it's easier to have the printer connect out and poll than to explain how to port forward something through a home router to the average customer.

    HP for example assigns the printer an email address on one of their domains, and the printer just polls the mailbox.

    I suppose under the asumption one wants such a feature, this is the better way to go about it...

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