Small home setups seem to get easier every year as the technology that powers smart devices improves. Unfortunately, problems still arise, as the following examples show.
It was a light bulb
In 2009, Raul Rojas became one of the first in Germany to manage a smart home. Almost everything in a computer science professor’s house can be turned on and off from afar, including lights, music, TV, and the heating/cooling system.
Four years after Rojas opened his smart home to local media, the entire house went offline as appliances stopped working, the heating system failed, and these robots stopped in place.
As Rojas told Fusion, «It was a classic denial of service attack.» Light conducted a DoS attack on a smart home to say «Change me.»
Our recommendation : Don’t replace everything in your home with smart products. Of those smart products you have, make sure you are always running the latest firmware. Most firmware updates happen through app updates on iOS and Android.
All about security
Back in 2013, a Forbes reporter discovered that her Insteon-connected home system could remotely control devices in many of her neighbor’s homes. Issue: Although «highly recommended» in the owner’s manual, older Insteon systems did not require users to add a username and password to add remote access. Because of this, unsecured systems were available to anyone who was nearby and who owned a similar system.
Insteon now requires secure login for all of the company’s smart products.
Our recommendation : Most current generation smart devices require authentication. For added peace of mind, change logins on a regular basis. The smoke detector batteries should be replaced at the beginning and end of daylight saving time. Change the security settings on your smart devices at the same time.