“Smart” homes – the dark side

There is a darker, more sinister side to automating your home – security. If its so easy to hack a car, imagine how much easier it is to hack internet connected devices in your home? And it has happened before (and will likely happen again). On October 21st this year,  Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks caused widespread disruption of corporate internet activities in the US, e.g. Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit. They basically used the “internet of things” – thousands of unsecured internet-connected digital devices, such as home routers and surveillance cameras to drive the assault.

That’s what happens when you connect a whole bunch of crappy embedded devices with lacklustre security to the internet with the pretext of being “smart”.And there are a bunch of these “things” in peoples houses: IP connected security systems, climate control and energy meters,  connected printers, VoIP phones, smart fridges, and even smart lightbulbs. I guess one also has to question how easy it is to hack these things?

Read this paper on hacking lightbulbs. Check out the videos. It’s frightening. Smart houses? Forget it. The best security is having dumb appliances.


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