Though everyone wants to bring a variety of ‘Internet of things’ products on the market, from microwaves, to refrigerators, and even light bulbs, not everyone thinks about the bad side of all this. This means that, despite everything linking to your local area network, not everything connected is currently secure. This is how some engineers over at Context uncovered a way to hack your network through smart lightbulbs.
LIFX, the company making the actual light bulbs in question and their software, have not released the 1.1 version to the public, making it harder for hackers to fiddle with it. Even so, the Context engineers have apparently removed the microcontroller embedded inside each bulb and connected different JTAG pins ti special debugging hardware in order to monitor the signals sent when the light bulbs were added or removed to the network.
The company has quickly responded to the engineers’ findings, having to release LIFX software version 1.3, which is stated to encrypt all 6LoWPAN traffic using an encryption key derived from the Wi-Fi credential while also including functions for secure processing when new bulbs join a network.
Though people might think they are missing out if their household appliances are not connected to the network, security breaches such as this one still reminds us that not everything should be linked to the internet, at least not yet. The big names in the tech industry, namely Microsoft, Apple and Google, have devoted large amounts of resources to ensure their devices are secure and stay that way. Even so, breaches are still inevitable from time to time.