Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Internet of ... uh ... "Things"

Warning - this post deals with adult* topics!

There are a lot of Wi-Fi enabled products out there nowadays, and they're being interconnected in many ways as part of what's being called "The Internet of Things." There are many advantages to this: your refrigerator, for example, can know when you're running low on milk and send you a reminder to buy more; or you can turn things on and off in your home while you're on vacation thousands of miles away. Yes, the Internet of Things is bringing you all sorts of new advantages ... and a host of new problems, too.

When everything you own is interconnected by Wi-Fi, that there are a multitude of "attack surfaces" that hackers can exploit to screw up your digital life. As crazy as it sounds, a Russian hacker - when he's not busy working on the Trump reelection campaign - can break into your bank account through your Wi-Fi enabled thermostat.

And it gets worse - consider this article by Angelo Young from a recent issue of Salon: Maybe You Don’t Really Need a Wi-Fi-Connected Sex Toy.

According to the article, a cybersecurity company in the United Kingdom has uncovered a disturbing vulnerability in a ... um ... sex toy. Yes, Dear Readers, meet the "Siime Eye**," a $250 camera-equipped, Wi-Fi enabled dildo (available in violet or pale pink) that can stream the most intimate details of your carnal knowledge via the Internet to another person’s computer or smart phone, even without your knowledge or consent.

It seems that the Siime Eye was designed so that its Wi-Fi abilities were more akin to a router than to a client, making it particularly vulnerable to the hijacking of its signal by potential high-tech voyeurs***.

But wait! There's more!

The article goes on to note that,

"Last month Standard Innovation, the Canadian maker of an internet-connected sex toy called We-Vibe agreed to spend $5 million to settle a U.S. civil class action lawsuit for collecting data from customers, such as the time, date and duration of use, level of vibration intensity and device temperature."

I don't think there's much else to say, except to encourage you to make sure your Wi-Fi password is encrypted out the wazoo if your intimate streaming is of the electronic, rather than the golden version.

Have a good day. Remember that not everything needs to be Wi-Fi enabled.

More thoughts tomorrow.


* Although you may end up questioning whether the adjective "adult" is accurately used.

** When I first read the article, I read the name as "Slime Eye," which seemed somehow logical.

*** The Siime Eye website includes this warning: "To be more safe be sure to change the default password. We have created a default password "88888888" so that user can access the Siime Eye but in our Mobile Application interface (for both Android and iOS) we have stated to change the password to ensure privacy. We have given clear instructions in User Manual of Siime Eye about how to change password. We always recommend our users to create a strong password.
Most of the electronics devices including our smartphones, Wifi routers are vulnerable to be attacked by hackers. We all hate these unwanted things happening to technical gadgets. So we suggest all our Siime Eye users to change their passwords."


Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

um, why does one need wi-fi on these types of products anyway. I think I must be missing something.

John Hill said...

(shakes head)
no words...

eViL pOp TaRt said...

This boggles the imagination. I am beyond amazed. I'll take a vow of celibacy before I'll connect that with WI-Fi.

Gonzo Dave said...

I'm (sort of) surprised you didn't change your name from "Bilbo" to, uh, ... something else - maybe something using, oh, the mirror-image of a lower-case "b" in a couple of places?...

allenwoodhaven said...

I'd heard about hacking into the internet of things and it being very vulnerable but i hadn't heard of these particular things. My first reaction wasn't so much as "what?" as "why?"

If this post doesn't prove that you keep us well informed, nothing will!

Mike said...

Thanks for the reminder. Changing the password now.