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Categories: Digital Security

Your Toilet, Fridge or Toaster could be the next breach in your Home Wi-Fi

A recent study showed that there are currently more than 10 Billion devices connected to the internet, while most are still PCs and Laptops, by 2020 50 Billion devices will be connected to the internet and most of it will no longer be PCs and Laptops.

Your toilet is not safe...
Your toilet is not safe...

There are millions of start-ups and companies trying to infiltrate the Smart House market. Whereby you can have home applications connect to the internet and control appliances with devices like your laptop or cell phone. One example would be the Satis – a toilet that is flushable via your Andriod device. There are other products like Goji Smart Lock which allows you to control the lock on your home door via your mobile phone. It can be set to grant access to specific people during a specific time of day.

Products like Satis, Goji, VeraLite or Samsung’s new Smart Refrigerator are truly amazing inventions and can most definitely make our lives a lot easier. It is extremely important that such inventions be persuade, but at the same time personal security should ALWAYS remain the number one priority.

The growth of Smart appliances has security researchers worried as many of these appliances have severe security flaws that could grant hackers access to your computer or mobile devices.

In late December, a researcher at Proofpoint, an enterprise security company, noticed something strange: a security gateway was logging hundreds of thousands of malicious emails that were clearly being sent out by over 100,000 Linux-running devices, but weren’t PCs. Instead they were internet-connected consumer gadgets including routers, TVs, multi-media centers, and even a fridge.

David Jacoby, a security researcher at Kaspersky Lab has found hundreds of security vulnerabilities in products in his own home. Seems that many of these smart appliances aren’t being implemented with high security levels, or that security is being completely ignored or simply an afterthought.

Yoshi Kohno an associated professor at the University of Washington who studied security and privacy in consumer technologies, says it is difficult to know exactly how big a problem this will be. He found “real vulnerabilities” in several Internet-connected items including cars, medical devices, and even children’s toys. For instance, one toy included a webcam which could allow an online attacker to connect to the toy and turn on the webcam. “We as a community need to look holistically at all the emerging technologies and not just say, ‘Oh, it’s a toaster, it doesn’t matter,’ and think that everything matters until we believe that it doesn’t” he says.

Another concerning factor is that most devices or appliances have data stored “in the cloud” which means that if you have a smart toile or alarm, there is data being stored about it. Thus every time you flush your toilet or leave your home someone could know.

Before leaping into these great advances in technology it is important that we stop and wait for security of these devices to catch up before buying toilet that could compromise your entire Home security network.

Below are three interesting articles from MIT Technology Review, for more information regarding the security risks of Smart devices and appliances:

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