Pwning a house


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For some reason this got me thinking about pretend poltergeists.

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For some reason it got me thinking about the article Cory just posted about WaPo’s “FUD-laden, inaccurate and hysterical story about “WiFi security risks” that appears to have been ginned up by publicists for “security companies” who rely on public fear to generate business.”

Could you possibly think of Poltergeists, because the author mentions Poltergeist in the second paragraph of the article? :wink:

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ginned up by publicists for “security companies” who rely on public fear to generate business.

Not sure I follow your logic there. Why would home security (and automation) companies want to scare people away from their own products by showing their faults?

Oh noes! If McAfee came preinstalled as the security for my automated house I run screaming! Sorry, can’t connect to the porch cameras because a scan is being run on my HVAC. And I’d have to click the app on my phone every 5 seconds during the scan or it hangs up. That is unless I bought the pro version.

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So, basically, all those sleazy X10 pop-under ads in the late nineties that put a bad face on home automation were doing me a favor in the long run…

As someone who’s seen security cams owned firsthand, I cannot understand why anyone would have any web-enabled household appliances. You can’t remember to cut off your own lights like every other generation of humans (whose lanterns might actually burn down the house instead of just running up a few cents on your bill?) Is the novelty value of firing up your hot tub with your phone worth it if, the next time you front on the neighbor’s prick kid for blasting his stereo at 3am, he’ll just turn around and blast yours at 3 am? what is the actual upside to any of this stuff? the positive return is diminished to nil in face of pwnage. even if you’re leet enough to set it all up yourself, there’s someone easily crowdsourced by your neighbor’s prick kid who is more leet than you. none for me, thanks.


You said it better than I: There’s essentially no need for putting your house on the public Internet. Private local net, maybe; home automation does have legitimate uses (though putting it on your network strikes me as massive overkill)… but as with everything else, unless you have a need to expose it out thru the firewall you have a need NOT to do so. Never mind passwords; it simply shouldn’t be visible.

FWIW, industry worked thru this set of issues a decade ago. There was discussion of whether having everything on a site under IP control might make sense, to simplify wiring – and the conclusion was “no”, both for security reasons and because there was simply no advantage to making that the default.

This is a fix looking for a problem looking for a solution looking for a need.

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Goddammit! They’re putting thoughts into my head now! Aieeee!

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Not saying it would, I just think there’s a certain irony in seeing the two articles almost back-to-back in the feed. The first with Cory taking WaPo to task for a sensationalistic article about WiFi threats, and the second one to call attention to an article about actual WiFi threats.

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