The internet-connected home — open door to crime

ZigBee: The Wireless Standard for AMI, HANs and Demand Response

HAN = Home Area Network

AMI is de­fined as the communications hardware and software  and  associated  system  and  data  management   software   that   creates   a   network   between advanced  meters  and  utility  business  systems.   This allows  collection  and  distribution  of  information  to customers  and  other  parties  such  as  competitive retail suppliers, in addition to the utility itself.  Importantly, it connects the utility to a HAN typically comprised  of  ZigBee-enabled  devices  including  appliances,  thermostats,  water  heaters,  pool  pumps,  and more.    This  network  of  ZigBee  devices  is  easy  to connect  and  allows  users  to  customize  and  monitor their energy consumption in an environment where devices communicate to each other and can connect to  the  outside  world  to  enable  remote  access  and control  either  by  the  utility,  a  third-party  service provider or the customer.

Is this complete denial or lack of imagination?

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on January 17, 2014, that hacking attacks have now been carried out against Smart appliances.

That spam that fills your e-mail inbox might be coming from inside your home – sent by a TV, a wireless router, or even a refrigerator that’s been turned against you.

Computers and smartphones have long been the target of hackers, but a recent online attack exploited security holes in more than 100,000 Internet-connected home devices and used them to transmit about 750,000 spam and phishing e-mails over two weeks in late December and early January, according to Proofpoint, a Sunnyvale spam-detection company that discovered the attack.

…The attack used the devices to relay e-mails, but didn’t affect their operations in the home.

“Hackers aren’t going to go in and turn up your thermostat to 100 degrees…,said Michele Borovac , a security specialist at Mountain View’s HyTrust.     Why not?

“…What was significant was that researchers have been warning that these new connected smart devices were going to be susceptible to these kinds of breaches, and we were able to show that the theory has turned into reality.”

From Security lags in protecting Internet-connected appliances. Ellen Huet

How could an entire industry display such a startling lack of imagination and put our homes and communities at such risk?

Commercials tout the benefit of looking in on your children or pets remotely or unlocking the front door or gate. This wireless networked system provides an open door for crime, as well as creating many jobs in the never-quite-catching up cybersecurity industry.

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