It’s unlikely that anyone other than the most stubborn users are still using the original iPhone or feature phones from the era of 2G networks, but AT&T has announced that it has finally cut these users off. [More]
A security camera in your house, that you can access remotely, might seem like a good idea at first. You can log into it from anywhere, to see what’s going on and if it really was the cat who opened your kitchen cabinets every day last week. But the problem with a thing you can access remotely is that a sufficiently determined bad actor can, too. And sometimes it doesn’t even take much determination to do. [More]
Internet-connected (“smart”) devices are becoming ubiquitous, but they have this persistent problem: they’re internet-connected. A huge number are extremely vulnerable to being taken over by bad actors, for a whole host of reasons. And so, before your fridge becomes part of the next record-breaking botnet, the Federal Trade Commission wants to give someone cold, hard, cash money for coming up with a way to prevent it. [More]
A massive denial of service attack last week has already resulted in the recall of a number of webcams that may have been used to aid hackers in taking popular sites like Twitter, Github, Reddit, and others offline throughout the day. Now, lawmakers are asking federal agencies what else can be done to prevent future attacks. [More]
Ever since “smart,” connected devices began to form the internet of things a few years back, some experts have warned that we could be facing a future where your toaster, washing machine, and TV become part of a sophisticated botnet used to attack others. Well, those experts say, the future is now. [More]
If growing up on Star Trek: The Next Generation reruns taught us anything, it’s that the future would be brought to us by computers that could recognize our voice commands and do whatever we asked. And while none of the products on the market today sound like the late Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, we are still surrounded by machine-generated female voices that answer our questions, queue up our favorite tunes, and dim our room lights on request. But the dominant player in that space is one that, just a few years ago, nobody would have expected — because it’s Amazon, not Google, connecting homes.
This is, unfortunately, becoming one of the most predictable stories of the early 21st century. It goes something like this: new tech product comes on the market. Consumers, finding product solves their problem, eagerly buy. Then the company that made the product turns off the server that made the thing “smart,” and suddenly early adopters are up a creek with no recourse.
A big tech deal was announced between two international companies today. Japan-based SoftBank bought UK-based ARM for $32 billion, a sentence that’s meaningless to most of us. But put another way, it starts to make a whole lot more sense: the company that owns Sprint just bought the company that makes the parts that make your iPhone actually work.
Is there any everyday item that wouldn’t benefit from adding some electronic components and Bluetooth connectivity? Of course not! That’s why you can now buy, in actual stores, a pregnancy test with Bluetooth connectivity. This is apparently because Millennial women are in their peak child-having years, and are incapable of sitting for three minutes without syncing our smartphones to something. [More]
There’s a serious problem with “smart” devices that can power items in your home: many of them are designed so that they only work with their creators’ cloud service. That’s fine, as long as your internet access is reliable and the company doesn’t go out of business or decide to shut off the servers where those cloud services run. Unlike Nest, companies should probably anticipate that some users might be a bit upset about this. [More]
Here’s some depressing news for your morning: even if you set up your home network yourself and followed all of the best practices for doing so, it’s probably got some big fat vulnerabilities in it.
The implacable march of technology has, in many ways, made parents’ lives easier. But in other areas, it’s added a whole new layer of complication. Like the fact that video-enabled baby monitors, designed to let parents have peace of mind while their kids are sleeping in another room, almost universally have completely crap security that any random stranger on the internet can tap into.
Over the past few years we’ve heard a lot about the smart, connected devices that make up the internet of things. From ceiling fans to cars and cameras, they’re everywhere. Unfortunately, anything that can connect to the internet can be hacked through the internet… and now, it seems, that includes guns.
You may now be able to change your thermostat from another continent, your fridge might know when you need to buy more eggs, and your connected TV recommends shows and movies. But is your data being used for things other than keeping your house warm, your eggs in stock, and your kids entertained — and, just as importantly — is it secure? [More]
We all know that copyright law means you shouldn’t download copies of movies from shady torrent sites, and that you should pay for the music you listen to. We know it means people and companies have rights to stuff they make, like photos and music and books, and that there are legal and illegal ways of sharing those things.
As we know, the Internet of Things – or the connection of all our connected devices – is here to stay. So it should come as no surprise that a number of companies are showcasing products that create a central hub connecting consumer devices to one another, creating a secure, smart home atmosphere. [More]
We told you the other day how several electronics manufacturers were shipping products with default username and password combinations that many people never think to change, leaving them open to being compromised by hackers and pranksters. To help those consumers who may not want to get into the gritty details of that story, here’s a quick guide to a number of popular types of products that people may not know they need to change the password to. [More]