Home automation will give us the possibility to remote control many parameters like lighting, temperature, windows and many other devices, but we need to raise the bar of security standards or homes will be hacked.
911: 911, where is your emergency?
Lisa: XXX Road, building B, 3rd floor, apartment 34
911: what is happening madame?
Lisa: somebody is hacking my house, lights turn on and off, rolling shutters lift and lower on their own, fridge sending messages on my mobile…
911: are you in immediate danger ma’am?
Lisa: no, but if they can do this they can unlock the main door and get in…
911: can you stay on the phone with me?
911: I have an officer about half a mile from your location, he’s been informed and moving toward your location
This call has been invented, but could really happen in a not so distant future. Home automation equipments are made of a combination of devices (for example mini-computers that measure temperature, light or humidity) and a central controller system which dialogues via internet with your smartphone or tablet. Internet communications can be hacked and attackers may use weaknesses to plan and execute burglaries or raids. It would be a problem if attacks are directed to properties, it could be even worse if addressed to people that can be localized into a home or a building.
Scientists are working on ad-hoc softwares that can help to raise the bar of security. Under the leadership of Dr. Steffen Wendzel of the Fraunhofer Institute for Communications, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE in Bonn the researcher from the “Cyber Defense” department are developping the solutions described in their post. In the meantime, if you’re not a pro and want some “simple” but valuable tips from securing home automation from hacking, have a look at what Securitygem has to tell us. Last but not least, if you’re a pro or just a little skeptic yet, read more details in this Securityledger post… which basically tells us that none of the existing home automation systems are 100% secure (but what is 100% safe in the end?).
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