Tag: privacy

Updated – Hackout: Philips Smart Lightbulbs Go Dark In Remote Attack

Add lightbulbs to the list of everyday technology that is 1) Internet connected and 2) vulnerable to crippling remote attacks.* Writing on Tuesday, security researcher Nitesh Dhanjani disclosed a proof of concept hack against HUE lightbulbs, a brand of wi-fi enabled bulbs manufactured by the firm Philips. The vulnerability discovered by Dhanjani allows a remote attacker to use her mobile device to control HUE. HUE wi-fi enabled bulbs are sold at Apple stores and allow users to control the function and color of the bulbs using iPhone and Android mobile apps. Dhanjani published his findings in a paper, “Hacking Lightbulbs,” which calls the HUE system of bulbs and a wireless bridge “wonderfully innovative,” but also prone to hacking. The most serious flaw discovered would allow a remote attacker to impersonate a white-listed (or “allowed”) mobile device, sending commands to HUE bulbs that could cause them to turn off or manipulate […]

NEST Thermostat-BlackHat-scaled

Security Of “Things” Increasingly The Stuff Of Headlines

It looks as if the mainstream media is waking to the security implications of the “Internet of Things,” in the wake of recent demonstrations at the Black Hat and DEFCON conferences that highlight vulnerabilities in everything from home automation systems to automobiles to toilets. Stories in The New York Times and other major news outlets in the last week have highlighted concerns about “the cyber crime of things” as Christopher Mims, writing in The Atlantic, called it. Insecure, Internet connected devices ranging from surveillance cameras to home heating and cooling systems could leave consumers vulnerable to remote attacks and spying. The stories come after hacks to non-traditional computing platforms stole most of the headlines from this year’s Black Hat and DEFCON shows in Las Vegas. A compromise of a Toyota Prius hybrid by researchers Charlie Miller of Twitter and Chris Valasek of IOActive was featured prominently in stories by Forbes and […]

Anonymous Email Services Shutter In Wake Of Snowden

Podcast: Play in new window | Download () | EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Email | TuneIn | RSS | https://www.securityledger.com/subscribeFaced with the prospect of being forced to turn over metadata from their customers’ private correspondence to secret courts in the U.S. or other countries, two prominent secure e-mail services decided this week to cease operation. The secure email service Lavabit – lately the choice of NSA leaker Edward Snowden – announced that it was ceasing operations on Thursday after ten years of operation. The announcement was followed, on Friday, by a similar one from the security firm Silent Circle, which operated Silent Mail. Both companies cited the difficulty of securing e-mail communications and the prospect of secret government subpoenas to obtain information on the activities of their customers as the reason for deciding to stop offering secure email services. In a message posted on the […]

Breaking And Entering: Hackers Say “Smart” Homes Are Easy Targets

In just the last two years, the price of home automation technology has come way down, while variety has exploded. Smart home technology goes way beyond niche products like the Nest IP-enabled thermostat or (save us) the “HAPIfork.” A growing list of vendors are selling infrastructure to support a whole network of intelligent “stuff”, enabling remote management of home security and surveillance systems, IP-enabled door locks, IP enabled lights, smart home appliances, HVAC (heat and cooling) and more.   Pretty cool. And, also, pretty scary. What if that IP-enabled door lock or garage door opener could be hacked by someone outside your home and made to open on its own? Breaking and entering just got a lot easier. Or, what if a HVAC system could be hijacked and remotely disabled or forced to operate in ways that would damage the system or even cause a fire or electrical short in the […]

Security Start-Up, University Team On Android Patch App

The saga of the application-signing flaw affecting Google’s Android mobile phones took another turn Tuesday when a Silicon Valley startup teamed with graduate students from Northeastern University in Boston to offer their own fix-it tool for hundreds of millions of Android phones that have been left without access to Google’s official patch. Duo Security announced the availability of an Android utility dubbed “ReKey” on Tuesday. The tool allows Droid users to patch the so-called “Master Key” vulnerability on Android devices, even in the absence of a security update from Android handset makers (OEMs) and carriers who distribute the phones, according to a post on the Duo Security blog. The tool can be downloaded from the site rekey.io. “ReKey is the latest of our research projects designed to make the Internet a safer place,” said Collin Mulliner, a postdoctoral researcher at NEU SecLab in a joint press release issued by NEU […]