The Internet of Things, or IoT, Connected Devices, Smart devices whatever you want to call them have become a fixture in most homes. It has gotten to the point where you have to look hard to find a device that is not “Smart”. Manufacturers love to push the marketing term smart onto the consumer as it becomes a value add proposal; hey this can do all of this and you can control it using your phone from anywhere. What they do not disclose is exactly how insecure these devices are and how much privacy you can end up giving up just by having them in your home.
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.
2016 is going to be a year where the connected device really explodes. We thought that IoT (Internet of Things) was bad in 2015, well that is just peanuts compared to what we are going to see in 2016. Everything from lightbulbs to sex toys are going to connect to something for remote control. We took a look at a sampling of products shown off at CES 2016 and will be covering them in a little more detail. We have already looked at some of the better connected adult toys and are now going to take a look at the adult beverage side of things.
This is not the first time that I have spoken out about cloud computing (internet based, or the Internet of Things and the way they are impacting the ability to secure a network. It is also not going to be the last. Simply put, the concept that everything needs to be controlled by a computer and talk back to some sort of internet based cloud show a level of ignorance that should not still be out there. Sadly it is and companies are still trying to push the cloud and connected device mentality despite the inherent and known security flaws that exist.
For a while now (many years actually) I have argued that the rush to turn everything into a techno-gadget has been irresponsible and dangerous. However, companies that are looking into the “Internet of things” simply do not care. They see dollar signs and revenue streams in adding services to their devices that were a one-time purchase before. Because of this they are blindly rushing products to market that are open to attack on a massive scale. Consumers who are ignorant to these flaws are buying them up at a rapid pace leaving themselves exposed to data theft and worse.
Today is was announced that Futuremark would be “joining” Underwriters Laboratories. The standards group that most people in the US are familiar with his buying up the same benchmarking company that most of us have come to love and hate. According to both Futuremark and UL the acquisition is more like a partnership, it is just that one will fully own the other: “Today, we’re announcing a new partnership. One that will significantly strengthen Futuremark through increased investment in our people and products while protecting our independence and neutrality.”
A day after we published an article on how deficient most developers are when it comes to properly planning for security we are hearing about a new bug that infects one of the core components of an operating system. Dubbed Bash or Shellshock this new flaw affects the shell in an OS. The shell in an OS is what allows you to interact with systems. When you run an application it will often run code through the shell to give you the desired result.
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.