|Net Connected TVs At Risk of Hacking|
We've had reports of smart TVs sending data [webmasterworld.com...] allowing snooping on users viewing habits, but this is really taking things to a whole new level.
The Internet of Things is in its infancy and it's a back-door for exploitation, imho.
|Millions of smart TVs can be hijacked by burying attack code in signals broadcast to the net-connected devices, security experts warn. |
The attack exploits loopholes in widely used technology that helps smart TVs receive tailored adverts.
Once hijacked, the TVs could be made to send messages on behalf of attackers, find other vulnerable devices in a home or launch other attacks across the net.Net Connected TVs At Risk of Hacking [bbc.co.uk]
And I just bought a smart TV!
It'll soon be called... The Internet of Nasty Things.
And ad blocking / anonymizing tools will come along.
I think it was in Jan or Feb there was a story about this sort of thing. Some appliance being hijacked.
I see a huge market for some sort of e-condoms (some sort of device/software that allows all your devices to safely pene- er, connect to, the Internet) in the future...
That's one reason why I still use OTA broadcast TVs... My computer is connected to the web, I don't need everything else connected, too.
|I think it was in Jan or Feb there was a story about this sort of thing. Some appliance being hijacked. |
Yes, it was a fridge sending spam emails [bbc.co.uk...]
Dear Appliance Makers:
We need to talk.
$2,000 for a stove? We did it, but we regret it. We can't figure out half of the functions. That new frig's ($2,200) ice maker went out this weekend. It arrived on June 23, not two years ago. There is a little light on the door that flashes all of the time, to make it stop you want $63 for a water filter.
And, now you want this crap to play on the internet? No, absolutely not. You're screwing up the simple task of cooking and storing food as it is. You are not qualified.
Here's what you need to do. It's a suggestion. How about making what you have now 1. reasonable in price and 2. easy to use and 3. dependable. You want to make more money? Earn it.
They are incapable of 2, they do not want to do 1 as it directly loses money (would YOU rather sell something expensive or something cheap at the same margin?), and 3. loses repeat sales.
It'll happen, and it's happening now.
Our washing machine took a turn for the worse. The repair cost was about half the price of a brand new machine. Considering the machine was about 10-years old, it's lasted well, but the repair was only guaranteed for three months, and, of course, something else might have broken on it. We decided to get a new machine.
I was surprised, well, perhaps I shouldn't have been, to see that there are new models with wifi and apps to control the machine.
Of course, the app doesn't load the machine or hang out the washing to dry, so i really didn't see the point of the extra capability. Why do i want or need to know when the spin cycle has completed. Surely, it defeats the object of having an automatic washing machine.
Are the manufacturers just doing it because they can, or are there real benefits to having wifi and an app for my washing machine?
Everything that's controlled over the net is going to become a risk, not necessarily for the item itself, but for the user's system. It's going to require a whole new level of protection, imho.
|are there real benefits to having wifi and an app for my washing machine? |
For households where all the people work (so no one at home all day), I can see the value of being able to remotely start the machine to time it to finish about the time someone gets home so that person can immediately take the laundry out before it gets wrinkled.
Or if it provided some useful feedback- "Hey Neil, I noticed that you're doing loads that are only 50% full. I calculate that if you wait until at least a 75 load, you could save X amount over the next 6 months, based on your current energy rates and consumption." Of course, that would mean tying in to the local utilities system to get their rate (and your usage) data, which could open a whole new can of worms for privacy people.
It's not just the smart TVs at risk, it's the DVRs, the video games, it's all online.
I'm not too worried as long as no personal information beyond email and a hulu password is all they can access, I'll survive. If they can get a list of what I've been watching, big whoop.
As far as the rest of the appliances go, once you start buying things that pricey consider where you buy them which is why Costco, and the 2 year warranty by default for most electronics and stuff, is my go-to store. I even sprang for the extended warranty on a couple of new appliances with moving parts based on the cost of the appliance. I draw the line around $600 so the microwave and dishwasher, as well as the washer/dryer, are all considered replaceable because had I bought an extended warranty for all of them, I could've replaces at least ONE of them. Do the math. However, the fridge and stove, both the costliest by far, have extended warranties.
Y'all make mountains out of molehills.
|There is a little light on the door that flashes all of the time, to make it stop you want $63 for a water filter. |
a) if you can afford a $2K+ fridge you can afford the $63 filter
b) not replacing the filter? EWWWW!
I've got the same issue and you know going into high end gear you're going to get screwed on pricey replacements. Reminds me of the old saying about "if you have to ask the price then you can't really afford it..." blah.
The bottom line is we're going to get hacked, it's a fact of life, until we start making hacking a capitol crime :)
Aren't those crimes that polititians make while in office? *ducks*
I'm still not convinced I need an app to set the washing while i'm out. I don't really want to be staring at my phone and setting washing times when I might be with people. If i go to the trouble of filling the machine, I can set a delayed start time for an hour before I return home. No app or connectivity required.
I used to think being able to record something remotely on my digital recorder was cool, however, there are so many catch-up services I really don't need to do that. If it's a major event, such as a football match, I know it's about to happen by looking up in the schedules before I leave the house.
Here's an interesting read on the topic of wifi and remote controlled devices.
Security risks from remote controlled smart devices [schneier.com]
I'm convinced as lot of it is just for the sake of doing it because they can.
No, limit the net connected items to help reduce the opportunities for hacking.
|b) not replacing the filter? EWWWW! |
A lot of people don't need filtration. I'm on well water, the best bottled water in the world couldn't compete with my water. It will form condensation on the glass right from the tap, it's hundreds of feet in the ground. I already have a whole house sediment filter which is all I need or want. If I was in a place that needed a carbon filter I certainly would be paying the ridiculous amount of money they want for that little rinky dinky filter and get a whole house one instead.
My fridge came with a "temporary" plug if you wanted to remove the filter. I just have to hold in the button next to the blinking light 3 seconds and it goes away for a while. I think it's based on how often the door is opened.
As far as I know it's not wifi capable but it does have an interesting feature where you can hold up the phone to little speaker on the door and it will communicate with their tech support. That actually makes sense because they can get all the information they need, not sure if they can send commands to it from their end.
What drives me nuts is the dishwasher, I have quick wash which isn't long enough and normal which dries the dishes.
|Considering the machine was about 10-years old, it's lasted well |
Ten years counts as "well" for a large appliance?!
Next time, get a commercial washer. Two speeds, three temperatures, will last forever.
|if you can afford a $2K+ fridge you can afford the $63 filter |
You spend extra money upfront precisely so you don't have to keep getting nickeled-and-dimed.
And don't even think about an icemaker unless you're prepared to pay extra for decent copper tubing that will last as long as the house. The default in most places is a thin plastic tube that's no sturdier than your average aquarium air tube. It's not that long since my ground-floor apartment got rained out thanks to the upstairs neighbor's icemaker. They didn't even have one-- but a former occupant did, and the plastic tube was still hooked up to the plumbing. (This was all news to me. I'd always assumed they came with a reservoir.)
I just replaced a 20 year old stove, only because I could no longer replace the burner thingies that give the gas nice little holes to flow through. I had an awful time finding a large size range that did not have electronic everything. Piezo start is all I want as the last stove lost all those extras long before it needed replacing.
I disconnected the icemaker because I prefer to make my own ice from the filtration system's water and it only dispenses via its little tap. It is not too much work to make ice, really. The idea of fiddling with apps to set up TVs or appliances does not sound like a feature I want.
|And don't even think about an icemaker unless you're prepared to pay extra for decent copper tubing that will last as long as the house. |
As practical matter you can't really use copper because you need something that will allow you to move the fridge. Flexible copper tubing is available but then you are going to run into issues with it being in the way. The plastic is more than sufficient for low pressures like that especially if you get a quality plastic tubing.
The primary issue with those things is the connection to the existing copper tubing. They come with a tap that clamps onto the pipe that you screw into the side of the copper pipe which is inevitably going to leak at some point in the future. The other issue is the hose uses a pressure fitting which isn't necessarily an issue but can be if it's not fitted properly, under tightened, over tightened or repeatedly connected and disconnected.
|The idea of fiddling with apps to set up TVs |
The "smart" TV's are nice, I can view YouTube, Netflix etc. I also have smart home theater system with same features so I don't use the TV, it's networked so I can also view photos, videos or music from another network connected device.
That is exactly why these devices are so attractive to exploits. Not speaking of your own setup, but the average home setup is too often left at default settings.
|...it's networked so I can also view photos, videos or music from another network connected device. |
|something that will allow you to move the fridge |
How often do people change their entire kitchen layout, including permanently relocating the refrigerator to another part of the room? Sure, you can have a plastic tube running across the floor. It's the part inside the walls that's problematic.
My upstairs neighbor's icemaker tube was inexplicably hooked in to the pipes at the point where they entered the water heater. My water heater, not hers. It's a wonder the rats* didn't find it; instead it weakened at one of the points where the tubing passed through or over an anchoring attachment.
* Deedee watched the whole proceedings with great interest from a newly created hole in the ceiling, but was apparently innocent of any wrongdoing. Unless the plumber magnanimously covered for me (and her), which is always a possibility.
My TV is networked multiple ways as I have the video games which also play NetFlix, Hulu etc, and the ChromeCast which is another form of direct connect.
They're all online, it's all at risk, big whoop.
The only disturbing thing they could do is hack the PlayStation and watch me run around the house naked using the camera and post that on YouTube.
That would bother me, more likely bother others at which point I'd laugh.
|A lot of people don't need filtration |
That's nice, but if your fridge already has a filter they must be replaced otherwise they get nasty, up to and including moldy.
If you're not going to replace it most come with a replacement clear tube, no filter, so remove the filter permanently, do that instead.
FWIW, this whole thread contains the germ of a either a thriller or comedy flick where someone hacks all your internet things and either tries to kill you with them or makes them do stupid things. I'm opting for a thriller comedy where it does stupid stuff just to let you know they've been compromised before the internet things turn on you and try to kill you with spoiled food by heating up the fridge while you sleep and it's back to cold when you get up, etc.
Actually, the fridge heating up, not the freezer, happened to a buddy of mine, they had a bug in the software. They didn't even need to be hacked! ;)
I can see it now:
You click on the ice button and the fridge's LCD tells you to "open the door and get ice yourself you lazy thing!"
And then shows only a Blue Screen while "Daisy" plays ever so slightly off key :)
|You click on the ice button and the fridge's LCD tells you to "open the door and get ice yourself you lazy thing!" |
|How often do people change their entire kitchen layout, including permanently relocating the refrigerator to another part of the room? |
You need to be able to connect it and then push the fridge back into place. You *should* be cleaning dust from behind and underneath, specifically there is coils and if you keep them clean it will run more efficiently.It's the same thing as cleaning the heatsink on a computer.
|instead it weakened at one of the points where the tubing passed through or over an anchoring attachment. |
If it was the hose it either got damaged when they installed it or weakened by someone pulling the fridge out too far. The anchoring attachment you are referring too is probably what I mentioned before where it connects to the water line, they use a clamp and tap right into the line. It basically drills a hole into the pipe and self seals. It's easy to do for the average homeowner but not very reliable, you can eliminate that by using a regular soldered fitting.