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.
|EVs in Australia possible|
|"The car is growing beyond its role as a mere means of transport and will ultimately become a mobile living space."|
|Planning a Human Mission to Outer Solar System|
|The Way to Speedier Travel: Get Rid of Train Stations|
|History Repeats Itself: How the 1% Will Self-Destruct|
|Reviewing Counterfeit Toys Made in China|
|The Spaceship Propulsion Compendium|
|Soviet Air Force’s First All-Female Bombing Squad|
|"This very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age."|
|“There was not only automation but where the suggestion that humans had any control [...] was absent too.”|
|"Most of what kids currently learn at school will probably be irrelevant by the time they are 40."|
|Unboxing a Factory Sealed IBM Compatible PC from 1988|
|"Fossil fuel executives want to get a piece of the clean-energy business."|
|“The release of methane from hydrate may be apocalyptic.”|
|Nerf John Wick|
|Introducing Our First Twitter Bot (Sort of): Miss Fortune at @bottune|
|Pat the Zombie: A Cruel Adult Spoof of 'Pat the Bunny'|