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Internet Of Things Not So Safe


shutupIf you’re eager to get a new appliance that interfaces with the internet through your in-home network, you might want to do a bit of research first.  The thing about the IoT (Internet Of Things) is that many of these devices have terrible security protocol.  They are often easily hacked, have more security holes than a piece of swiss cheese, and are difficult to update.

Take for example the latest offender: the Comfort Link thermostat.  This device not only allows people to adjust their thermostat remotely but also connects to the internet in order to display weather, family photos, and other assorted goodies.  The problem is that Cisco just reported that there are as many as three major security holes in this device.  One of the holes allows attackers to potentially access the rest of the network through the device (over the internet).

The manufacturer of the devices, Trane, has not replied for requests for comment yet.

The problem with IoT things is that these are usually devices that we use for years and years.  You’ll have to think about whether or not the device will be supported.  The thing is, old software code is ripe for attack.  There are always holes in code – it just takes time to find them.

Personally I’m not a fan – I don’t really need the internet on all of my devices.  Do I really need to see weather reports on my thermostat, fridge, and toaster?  I’m already on the internet enough as it is between my job and my phone.  It’s hard enough to find time where I’m not “connected” and the internet is begging for my attention.

While creative technology like this is great, it definitely is a good idea to really think about the implications before you dive in head first.  Read about the brand, do a few google searches about any security holes, and think about whether or not you want to risk your network security just to have the weather updates.



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