Aga added networking to their super-high-end cookers, integrating them into the Internet of Shit

The house by then was heated. And she had multiple space heaters (its a century old, damp stone house). She was in her 80’s and didn’t care or believe that she didn’t need to keep the oven hot all the time to keep the house warm.

I’ve read that a fair bit of their current trendiness comes from a sort of fetish for the “country house” as a concept. Rural, less well off places houses tended to still have their coal or old style gas stoves. So wealthy people seeking to emulate that aesthetic either installed an AGA, or refurbished the one in the 2nd and 3rd homes that they picked up in those rural places. IIRC the AGA was always a more expensive model. Though they were still originally coal. Some googling says that gas and oil only came about in the 60’s.

There’s a similar tend among the yuppie class in the US for refurbishing old stoves. Though they tend to be slightly more modern ones with burners and what have. Some of them are more expensive than a new AGA (based on the US prices I’ve seen), but most of them are simply more expensive than a regular stove. And its sort of the same thing, you can pick up crap home and style magazines. And its all “shabby chic!” or “Country house style” with vintage stoves picked out as important.

1 Like

When I checked out the AGA homepage, I was surprised to learn that they seem to be the seller of “Heartland” stoves. Those are more American style wood/coal stoves and the electric or gas lookalikes …


The definition of enumerate is to count or list. Since we are explicitly starting with the list of all Aga cookers, only the first definition is applicable (it’s nonsensical to list a list, right? Unless it’s a list of lists, which this isn’t).

“Trivial” is a geek colloquialism meaning “easily done”. It’s derived from the common English definition of trivial which means of little importance.

So, translated: It is easy to count the number of items in a list of Aga cookers.

That was helpful, wasn’t it?

I think what Cory meant was that it would be very easy for a person of only average programming skill to design and build an automatic system that would call each entry in list of phone numbers known to connect to Aga cookers and issue a set of malicious commands to each listed Aga.


Boy howdy, if class consciousness was all it took, Karl Marx would have been exhumed, mummified, and exhibited in Hyde Park by now. Not every good is a Veblen good.

Besides, when Agas were coal fired, you’d still have to feed it pellets.

Would you look at that. And for a fraction of what an AGA costs.

At this point, it’s probably best to ask yourself

  • whether the AGA has any culinary advantages.
  • whether it’s possible to get the same culinary advantages (if they even exist) in a more environmentally responsible manner.

and just screw the whole aesthetic argument.

This article starts off with the shock of encountering a exorbitant gas bill.

and ends up with a realization that the victorians didn’t know much about heating a home efficiently.

Inspired by Berry, I upped my campaign. There were other reasons for the monster bill: it’s been the coldest winter in 25 years, we live in a big, draughty Victorian house and working from home means the heating is almost always on. Mercifully, a heating engineer confirmed this. He calculated our Aga is costing us around £14 a week and our lack of room thermostats was a bigger culprit. “People spend £50 a month on cable television,” I begged James. “I’ll forsake America’s Next Top Model for life in return for the Aga.”

Is £14 per week economically sustainable? Maybe. Is it environmentally responsible? Not a chance. But neither is spending £73 per week on heating a draughty house.

1 Like

Having worked for about a year in a natural gas energy efficiency program i don’t consider myself an expert but i know a little bit. You can spend a god damn fortune weatherproofing a house, especially on windows alone. But it’s worth it if you plan to hold onto the house in the long term because your overall heating and cooling efficiency goes up without even replacing the appliances themselves.

I can’t imagine a victorian home would be easy to weatherproof, but i would find it a worthwhile endeavor. And depending on where someone lives there may be incentives or rebates from various places on upping the efficiency of the home.


Well, that depends on your climate and how you are using it. High thermal mass heaters and cookers can be a key part of a highly efficient, highly sustainable house. The Finns and Russians have been proving this for centuries.

Also, keep in mind that if you have a storage water heater, you’re essentially doing the same thing, only more so…

1 Like

I believe in the US you can get something similar for a water heater. It’s called radiant heating, and it does double duty in helping heat the house. I didn’t see them often when i was at the efficiency program but they’re pretty neat.

1 Like

There’s a community in my area called Brookside that was built in the 1960s, that has combined radiant hot water floor heating and domestic tap water heating. It is a very good system in concept, but the modern implementations are much better than the 1960s version which relied on galvanized steel pipes embedded in an at-grade concrete slab (they have all failed from corrosion). But again, this stuff is highly climate and location dependent.

1 Like

I bought and fixed up a Victorian flat in the 80s, part of a subdivided townhouse. We were constrained by code to make no changes that would be visible from the outside. The windows were quite tall and the primary source of heat loss, but double glazing was not permitted.

The house still looks the same (my flat was 1st - eg middle - floor, 2nd door from the left):

1 Like

I did think that codes for a historic home may get in the way. It may be possible to work around the restrictions or petition the city to allow for proper upgrades that still retain the home’s historic value, i see this here in Austin pretty often… but it’s never easy and always expensive.

Since we are explicitly starting with the list of all Aga cookers

I think what Cory meant was that it would be very easy for a person of only average programming skill to design and build an automatic system that would call each entry in list of phone numbers known to connect to Aga cookers and issue a set of malicious commands to each listed Aga.

Yeah so this is the part i’m looking for clarification on. FTA:

Put in a valid number (i.e. +44 845 712 52 as suggested by the app when you make an invalid entry) and you’ll see that it’s already registered. It’s not actually a valid phone number, so likely someone has been interfering with this web site!

So those with nefarious intentions could enumerate a list of all the valid Aga cooker phone numbers. Time consuming, but likely effective.

Can someone point me to where all of these phone numbers are all already in a list? Sans this list, enumerating this list does not seem trivial.

1 Like

I think from what you’ve quoted the vulnerability is that if you enter a phone number into the Aga app, you can easily tell if the number belongs to a cooker or not because if not you’ll get an error “this number doesn’t match our records” or something. So with a bit of brute force, and depending on their servers’ capacity, and their rate limiting config vs the number of IP addresses you have available, you could get a list of cookers for an area code or potentially a whole country. Then you can start brute-forcing the codes for each individual cooker, or possibly DoS the system trying.

Then after all that effort, you can maybe ruin someone’s Christmas roast. Tee hee. So I guess Aga’s security proposition is “it would be hard for not much payoff and hopefully nobody will bother”, which is probably not the worst crime imaginable but it does seem about par for the course with consumer security.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.