The “adult toy” has been around for a very, very long time. They have examples of them going back to the Egyptians and earlier. For thousands of years they were pretty much the same with a few add-ons to make them a little more fun. All of that changed in the 20th century when electronics got smaller along with motors and other items. In the 21st century the addition of small personal area networks and the connected device brought a whole new game to this multi-million dollar industry.
Connected products are a big thing now and have been for a while. We have seen everything from lightbulbs to egg trays that have some sort of internet connection and notification service. We have been very concerned about the rapid growth and relative insecurity of these products for since they hit the scene. Recently we read about a new connected product from Char-broil that caught our attention. It is a WiFi connected smoker line. We were very intrigued by this for multiple reasons and reached out to them to see if we could arrange a simple of one. Char-broil was nice enough to send us their Simple Smoker to play around with. We took it for a spin over a weekend and can give you some insight into how well they work.
DEF CON 22, Las Vegas, NV 2014 - The idea that individual devices can monitor and control many aspects of our lives is an exciting one. Right now you can pick up inexpensive products that can allow you to keep an eye on everything from your house to the temperature of your eggs. Of course this mass growth of interconnected devices is also a big concern for people looking out for security.
The world is connected now, there is simply no getting around it. We have a multitude of devices that are now connected to the internet. I am not talking about security systems or cameras, I am talking about our TVs, refrigerators, air conditioning systems, lighting and the list goes on. The idea of the connected home used to be the stuff of science fiction, but not anymore.
There is an old (very old) adage that says: if you connect it to the internet, it can be hacked. A more accurate one would be; if you can interact with it in any way, it can be hacked. We have seen this time and time again as the idea of remote administration and monitoring has taken off like a rocket. So far everything from Bluetooth keyboards to Wi-Fi accessible pace makers have been laid out to exploit. The makers of these products were only thinking of making these easier to use and keep track of. They never imagined that someone would use that same connection for malicious purposes (or simply did not bother to prepare for that). When many of these products were developed the idea of hacking on the level we see it was the stuff of fantasy so some of their failures can be excused (as long as they fix the issues). However, what cannot be forgiven is the continued lack of forethought when it comes to newer connected devices; especially something like a smart toilet.