back to article Princeton research team hunting down IoT security blunders

Princeton boffins have taken a small step towards defending consumer-level IoT users from snooping, with what they call the IoT Inspector project. IoT Inspector is currently at the data-gathering stage, with the aim of launching an open source tool for users to get some idea of what their devices are doing. The idea for the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    S.M.A.R.T. We know what that really stands for, don't we!

    Amazed more people haven't rebelled against this shit! Welcome to the Federation and Blakes7, all without spaceships. A parallel universe got to enjoy all of that! We just got all the election meddling, fake-news-propaganda, behavioral manipulation, and 24/7 spying & tracking!

    ~~~

    "Other findings that led to the launch of the IoT Inspector project were:

    Many home devices (smart TVs, security cameras, smoke detectors, and smart light bulbs) communicate widely with third-party servers. For example, in the first minute after its first connection, the Samsung TV Princeton tested communicated with “Google Play, Double Click, Netflix, FandangoNOW, Spotify, CBS, MSNBC, NFL, Deezer, and Facebook”...

    ......"Without alerting the user;"......

    1. Nate Amsden Silver badge

      Re: S.M.A.R.T. We know what that really stands for, don't we!

      With the way some software is developed these days possible the developers don't even know what 3rd party services they are talking to ("Oh I just included this library/module because it did X for me, had no idea it was doing this other stuff too")

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Not hard....

    ..find compromised IoT device.

    Wipe drive / memory

    Reboot

    Fixed.

  3. DropBear

    I can't say I'm any less concerned by properly secured "legitimate" communication to whatever mothership the device reports to. I don't really see much difference between anyone on my wire being able to spy on me vs. only the OEM being able to do so (who then is free - and almost certain - to share that data with anyone paying enough).

  4. Grikath

    IoT + security = syntax error?

    Don't need to be from Princeton to figure out that one...

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      @Grikath - Townie here, my observation is the brightest of the Princeton faculty have malfunctioning elevators on their best days. They are rather oblivious to the obvious.

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Worried

    The thing that concerns me is that it is getting progressively harder to buy any goods that aren't stuffed with this crap. I don't want it, and never will, but what do I do when I want a new car and all of them are splurting reams of data (that I can't block) to anything that's listening?

    You can't even block GPS tracking - it's all part of the entertainment/ car controls interface.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Worried

      I don't think I'll ever buy a new car for myself again. I'll just continue driving old ones, maintaining them as long as I can and replacing them with used ones when necessary. My current car is a 2015 model, and that's probably as late a model as I'll ever get.

      My wife has a 2018 and there are many things I don't like about it, starting with the network connection to the vendor and the irritainment system. I also find the driver assist systems very annoying, and some either can't be disabled or replace useful functionality with inferior alternatives (adaptive cruise control, for example).

  6. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Flame

    Watch your upload traffic...

    For example, I see one "Smart" TV on a network I manage with 4.25GB of download data, which is to be expected. However it has 2.75GB of UPLOAD data!!! Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot is the TV uploading so much data for?? What exactly is it doing? Who is it talking to?

    I think this spying has become prevalent without anyone noticing simply because they are non-technical users. The 'thingy just works', and they don't care what else it is doing. I think if this was exposed people would be up in arms about it.

  7. YetAnotherJoeBlow Bronze badge

    Socially dark

    For a large portion of my career I always had to be careful with what I was exposing. But really, hooking up your television to the internet? I'll be six feet under before that ever happens in my house.

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