Entrepreneur, Law & Policy Analyst helping clients w/ strategic planning, communications interoperability, Software Developer, Scotch Enthusiast.
2714 stories
·
11 followers

Turning on Project Loon in Puerto Rico

1 Share
Comments
Read the whole story
christophersw
1 day ago
reply
Baltimore, MD
Share this story
Delete

Illusion

2 Comments and 12 Shares

Read the whole story
christophersw
4 days ago
reply
Baltimore, MD
popular
51 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
2 public comments
jhamill
50 days ago
reply
He's got everything.
California
StunGod
51 days ago
reply
Dating
Portland, Oregon, USA, Earth

Turning the Optical Fiber Network into a Giant Earthquake Sensor

1 Share


The best earthquake monitoring system is already installed under our feet, say Stanford researchers
Read the whole story
christophersw
4 days ago
reply
Baltimore, MD
Share this story
Delete

What Would It Look Like If We Put Warnings on IoT Devices Like We Do Cigarette Packets?

1 Share

Presently sponsored by: Matchlight by Terbium Labs: Know when your exact data appears on the dark web. Contact us for a demo today.

What Would It Look Like If We Put Warnings on IoT Devices Like We Do Cigarette Packets?

A couple of years ago, I was heavily involved in analysing and reporting on the massive VTech hack, the one where millions of records were exposed including kids' names, genders, ages, photos and the relationship to parents' records which included their home address. Part of this data was collected via an IoT device called the InnoTab which is a wifi connected tablet designed for young kids; think Fisher Price designing an iPad... then totally screwing up the security.

Anyway, I read a piece today about VTech asking the court to drop an ongoing lawsuit that came about after the hack. In that story, the writer recalled how VTech has updated their terms and conditions after the attack in an attempt to absolve them of any future responsibility in subsequent attacks. So I gave VTech a suggestion:

Now that may have been (a bit) tongue in cheek, but it got me thinking - what would this actually look like? I mean if they're saying the product might not be safe, how would that look if they literally put it on the box? As it turns out, we know exactly how to put warnings on dangerous products down here in Australia because we've been doing it for years with cigarettes:

What Would It Look Like If We Put Warnings on IoT Devices Like We Do Cigarette Packets?

So how would warning labels on IoT devices that have had serious security vulnerabilities look? Well VTech is the obvious place to start:

What Would It Look Like If We Put Warnings on IoT Devices Like We Do Cigarette Packets?

Would you still buy it? Exactly.

But let's not stop there because in fairness to VTech, it's not like they're the only ones to have had serious issues in their IoT toys. For example, there was CloudPets earlier this year and frankly, I think we can be a lot less "legal-speak" and a lot more honest about the real world risks of IoT devices like these:

What Would It Look Like If We Put Warnings on IoT Devices Like We Do Cigarette Packets?

Speaking of pets, you know what real pets love? Food. You know what they hate? When they don't get fed because the IoT feeder is down:

What Would It Look Like If We Put Warnings on IoT Devices Like We Do Cigarette Packets?

Let's move onto something bigger - cars. Last year, there was a little hiccup with the Nissan LEAF when it turned out they were using the VIN number of the car to pull back data and control features of it via the mobile app:

What Would It Look Like If We Put Warnings on IoT Devices Like We Do Cigarette Packets?

The problem in many of these cases is that we're taking everyday consumer goods and adding internet for no apparent good reason. You know, like when you add a web server to a dishwasher which than exposes you to exactly the sorts of risks we've come to expect from web servers:

What Would It Look Like If We Put Warnings on IoT Devices Like We Do Cigarette Packets?

Now you may be thinking "why would you connect many of these things", and you'd be entirely correct in lamenting that. But that's not what the makers of the LIXIL Satis thought when they connected a toilet which, of course, then had a security advisory issued due to a hard-coded default PIN:

What Would It Look Like If We Put Warnings on IoT Devices Like We Do Cigarette Packets?

And while we're in that general region, how about taking your most intimate moments and digitising them with a connected vibrator that then records your bedroom habits. Yeah, that shit should definitely come with a warning:

What Would It Look Like If We Put Warnings on IoT Devices Like We Do Cigarette Packets?

Welcome to the future, where pointless IoT stuff meets warnings labels on everything!

Read the whole story
christophersw
10 days ago
reply
Baltimore, MD
Share this story
Delete

The Next Crisis Will Start in Silicon Valley

1 Share
Comments
Read the whole story
christophersw
11 days ago
reply
Baltimore, MD
Share this story
Delete

What's killing us?

1 Share
Comments
Read the whole story
christophersw
11 days ago
reply
Baltimore, MD
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories