Why Using Smart Accessories In Your Home Is Not Safe

Internet of things has become quite popular over time. As much as they are popular they are unreliable and lack the property of good security as well.

Technology has made drastic inventions producing things which we once saw in movies and dreamed of making them a reality soon enough. If we observe, we will realize we have arrived in the modern era where everything is precisely as modern as it can get.

People now need the interruption of technology in every aspect of their life, no matter how much they deny that they are still independent of technology stuff. Therefore, steps have been taken to make our home life easier as well.’Voice operated home appliance control system’, ‘controlling home appliances with remote control’,’microcontroller based remote control’,’automated home security system’ is just a few things that are playing a vital role in controlling our home life.

Recently, Apple Home-kit is making a lot of news.It is one of the greatest breakthroughs of all time, even for the Apple company.This kit is able to integrate with other Apple devices in order to control home appliances with ease. Apparently, according to news apple’s automation service is way better than perfect keeping it ahead of Wink and WeMo.

Although there is one major setback with this kit , it does not work as efficient as it should with a door lock , so not a good option to use it for front door security.Other drawbacks are it doesnot support all products,not easily adoptable by hardwares and apple devices are not afforadable by everyone.

Then there is Home app by Mattias Hochgattere which allows you to configure and control home appliances easily.

These devices have given rise to the internet of things.However,these named, smart devices can pretty much give you a dumb result as well.

As much as they can make your life easier they can also put it in massive danger.Setting up these devices in your homes require entire data of the user, data about each and every part of his house which is if observed closely is quite perilous and disturbing.

Devices such as fridge, thermostats and all those connected to your wi-fi all require your data creating a portal in your network.

If this data comes in the hands of the wrong person your life can be in considerable danger.As far as these Homekit enabled devices are providing people with utmost pleasure and comfort they are also opening doors for further and more advance malware and malfunctions.As if , in a way, opening the back door of your house for the thugs without even letting you know.

But , there have always been ghosts in machines.We can see the example form the most remarkable movie of all times, as Dr. Alfred Lanning said:

“There have always been ghosts in the machine. Random segments of code, that have grouped together to form unexpected protocols.”

In this case , the ghosts are none other than “The Hackers.

ITs a Hacker’s world out there and they are getting into each and every house hold appliance.

“Did you know hackers can even turn down a power plant”

Everyone has always been precautious of Hackers as one can clearly understand what they are capable of doing.Unfortunately, they can come as unwanted guests in our house as well , thanks to the internet of things.

Since all things can work with technology hence they are also directly proportional to being hacked anywhere and anytime.Apparently, things like light bulbs, coffee-maker, door locks can be easily hacked by hackers.This is one of the biggest drawback of these devices.

According to Proofpoint(security firm), hackers are trying their best to get their hands into your house.The firm observed the results between the dates 23 Dec-6 Jan and found that 25 percent of the mails were sent bythe home networking routers,televisions, connected multimedia centres and atleast a regrigerator.

This year two different presentations were made at the hacker conference DEF CON where they made it clear that there is a vast distance present between the relationship of security and smart lock systems.

A research was conducted on Philips Hue light bulbs which resulted in realizing that it was possible to let a virus inside which would control all the other light bulbs and be controlled even if at a vast distance.

“the worst case scenario is to blackout the whole city,” according to Eyal Ronen, a Ph.D. Student at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, who discovered the bug.

Another research was performed on Philips Hue by Ronen and Colin O’Flynn, a Ph.D. Student at Dalhousie University in Canada.

According to Ronen, there was a bug present in the procedure Philips Hue adds bulbs to a home network. The bug would allow taking control over bulbs, even at a distance of 400 m.

“We were able to take full control of Philips light bulbs from a very large distance,” Ronen told me after his presentation.”

He also made it clear further that:

“I could do whatever I wanted with them,” Ronen added.

Anthony Rose and Ben Ramsey from Merculite Security, displayed lock hacking done by hardware less than worth of $200 only while some were opened in a more easier way. Therefore, it was concluded that out of sixteen, twelve resulted in failure.

Furthermore, locks made from the top notch companies iBluLock,Masterlock and August were tested and they resulted in being vulnerable to a great extent.

Errors like transferring password in plaintext by Quicklock, iBluLock, Plantraco were major faults opening ways for the ones trying to get into the system via Bluetooth traffic. Some entered fail state and opened after receiving an encrypted string that was off one byte.

After so many disappointments made, Kwikset Kevo, Mastrlock smart padlocks and Noke somehow made it, but still no one can fully trust them after so many defaulters present.

Replay attack which is also known as Playback attack is a kind of network attack in which data transmission is repeated or delayed fraudulently.

Sadly, replay attack was found to strike Lagute, Vians and Ceomate very easily.

However, this attack has been present since a very long time , unfortunately it is still existing.

Lately, two security researchers from UK-based security firm Pen Test Partners, Andrew Tierney and Ken Munro has created a ransomware that can hack a thermostat.Their prime objective was to demonstrate that how much internet-of-things were easy to exploit.

“We don’t have any control over our devices, and don’t really know what they’re doing and how they’re doing it,” Tierney told Motherboard. “And if they start doing something you don’t understand, you don’t really have a way of dealing with it.”

Since it sounds so scary , there are few steps that can be taken to keep oneself secure from hackers.

  • Buy products from trusted companies.
  • Keep your products up-to-date. (Software update time to time)
  • Changing password regularly or after every few days.

It can be deduced, that security plays a vital role in the Internet of things and unfortunately, it is the very thing lacking and having multiple issues, breeding inside it. The manufacturers and companies should put more efforts regarding this unresolved problem.

Hope we get there soon !

Till then, have fun installing the “not-so-dependable” devices. Mantenerse a salvo!