Saturday, 3 December 2016

Why Light Bulbs May Be the Next Hacker Target

Smarthome

Smart Light Bulbs – Wireless Fault - Hackers Take Control


Supporters debate that the Internet of Things provides several benefits like energy efficiency, technology convenience that can anticipate what one needs and also reduce congestion on the roads. However, placing a cluster of wirelessly connected devices in one spot could be tempting to hackers and would enable them to spread malicious code via air, just like a flu virus on a plane. Researchers had reported in a recent paper release that they had discovered an error in a wireless technology which is generally included in smart home devices like lights, locks, switches, thermostats and several of the components of the smart home of the future.

According to researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science near Tel Aviv and Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, they focused on the Philips Hue smart light bulb and discovered that the wireless fault can permit hackers in taking control of the light bulbs. It may not sound like a great deal. But considering thousands or even hundreds of thousands of internet-connected devices in close proximity and the malware that is created by hackers could spread among the devices on compromising with just one of them.

Popular Websites Experience Outages/Interruption


Moreover they would not need to have direct access to the devices to pollute them. The researchers were capable of spreading infection in a network within a building by driving a car 70 metres away. The hackers had briefly denied access to complete chunks of the internet recently, by developing a flood of traffic which had overwhelmed the servers of a US company known as Dynthat assists in handling key components of the internet.

 Pinterest, Twitter, Reddit together with PayPal were down for most part of a day since their domain name provider, Dyn had been compelled to be offline. It had also resulted in popular Australian websites like ANZ, Coles, The Daily telegraph; Ebay, NAB, 9News and many others, to experience outages and interruption. Security experts are of the belief that the hackers discovered the horsepower essential for their attack by gaining control of a range of internet-linked devices.

Password Partially Blamed for Attack


However the hackers did not utilise the system provided in the report that had been released recently. A Chinese wireless camera company had stated that weak passwords on some of its products could be partially blamed for the attack. Although it had not been the first attempt hackers had utilised the Internet of Things to control an attack, the measure of effort against Dyn had been an eye opener to users who had not realized that the impact of internet-linked things joined in daily life would foresee new risks.

A widely respected cryptographer, Adi Shamir who assists pioneer modern encryption methods and is also one of the authors of the report, had commented that `even the best internet defense technologies would not stop such an attack.The new risk is said to come from a little-known radio protocol named ZigBee which had been developed in 1990s.

 ZigBee is a wireless standard which is used extensively in home consumer devices. Though it has been presumed to be secure, it has not been held up for scrutiny of the other safety methods utilised across the internet. The researchers had discovered that the ZigBee standard could be utilised in creating a computer worm to spread the malevolent software in devices which were internet-linked.

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