On Forbes, Kashmir Hill looks at how a simple Google search gave her access to a variety of 'smart homes' -- houses that use automation equipment accessible from the Internet -- easily turning on and off lights, unlock doors and even open garage doors.
Many of these products have smartphone apps and Web portals that let users operate devices, cameras, and locks from afar. Getting to live the Jetsons lifestyle has downsides though; as we bring the things in our homes onto the Internet, we run into the same kind of security concerns we have for any connected device: they could get hacked.
Googling a very simple phrase led me to a list of smart homes that had done something rather stupid. The homes all have an automation system from Insteon that allows remote control of their lights, hot tubs, fans, televisions, water pumps, garage doors, cameras, and other devices, so that their owners can turn these things on and off with a smartphone app or via the Web. The dumb thing? Their systems had been made crawl-able by search engines meaning they show up in search results and due to Insteon not requiring user names and passwords by default in a now-discontinued product, I was able to click on the links, giving me the ability to turn these peoples homes into haunted houses, energy-consumption nightmares, or even robbery targets. Opening a garage door could make a house ripe for actual physical intrusion.
|Predictions: How Online Video Will Look in Five Years|
|"Many of the jobs and industries we are now familiar with will be gone tomorrow."|
|Online Classes to Make Professors Extinct|
|MIT's Reality Editor|
|In 10 Years, 50% of Jobs Will Be Handled by Robots and AI|
|Future Horizon's Plasma Lightsabers|
|“Everyone is doing it.”|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“The U.S. is officially fighting wars in seven countries.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“Democracy is dying in the full light of day. Who will step in and lead when it matters?”|
|“Facebook is a data collection service for those who want to sell you products.” #deleteFacebook|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|EM Drive Appears to Work in the Vacuum of Space|
|When the Wrong Hastag Can Get You Killed by an Assassination Drone|
|Naked Preacher Lady [NSFW]|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|