back to article We need to talk about criminal adversaries who want you to eat undercooked onion rings

Bad news for lockdown slimmers who've ignored advice about not needing to connect every friggin' appliance in their home to the internet: Talos researchers have sniffed out security flaws allowing attackers to hijack your air fryer. Specifically, Cisco's infosec arm said it had tested and confirmed that the Cosori Smart 5.8- …

  1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells
    Coffee/keyboard

    Does anybody have an air fryer that isn't boxed up in their attic?

    1. GlenP Silver badge

      Yes, although it does a lot of other things as well. Very useful it is too.

      No, it is not "connected".

    2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Nope. I have once of the Ninja ones and it gets used 3 or 4 times a week for baking, roasting and frying.

      It's one of those gadgets that really has made a difference in my kitchen and thankfully does not have the option of needing to connect to the intertubes.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        I don't use my Ninja that often but it sure gets used and isn't boxed up in the attic. Now my breadmaker, on the other hand...

        1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser

          I rarely buy bread these days. Almost all breaded delight is courtesy on a Panasonic bread maker. It is our 4th machine, I think, replacing the last if a succession of cheapo machines that were simply worn out over many years of use.

          Can't beat a semi-impromptu lunchtime snack that is half a small loaf of still-warm bread, butter (definitely NOT Marge or spread) and some good, smelly cheese. And a pint.

    3. Gene Cash Silver badge

      I've got a Cusinart one that's probably going in the trash. It's failed miserably at everything its tried to cook.

    4. AMBxx Silver badge
      Coat

      Next to the low fat grill thing and the old dark room kit?

      1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells

        And that homebrew kit that you had in your 20's before you could afford to just buy all the booze you wanted.

        1. mickaroo

          I'm a LONG WAY past my 20's, and homebrew kits are again my friend now that I'm on a fixed income... and can no longer afford to just buy all the booze I want.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I use mine all the time, wonderful invention for chips but not the chips mentioned in the article.

    6. Inventor of the Marmite Laser

      I do! I have a very elderly Tefal Actifry, inherited from my mum many years ago. It makes a fair fist of potato wedges and roasted spuds, using next to no oil or fat. If it does finally fail irreparably, I am pretty sure there will be a move by The Management to replace it with a current model equivalent- but definitely not a smart one.

  2. don't you hate it when you lose your account Silver badge

    Why?

    That is all

    1. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      Because it will sell. That's all.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      Exactly!

      The crime here, is connecting an air fryer and many of its other kitchen cousins to the interwoo.

      1. Steve K Silver badge

        Re: Why?

        Can you then connect it to your Karcher power washer via a Bluetooth App?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Why?

          Because otherwise it couldn't connect to Alexa

    3. AMBxx Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Why?

      It gets worse. A friend of mine has some clever boiler thing for cooking carrots at the perfect temperature. He is able to monitor progress from anywhere in the world using an app on his phone.

      Worse still, the carrots have to go in a specially sealed plastic bag (single use).

      1. Giles C Silver badge

        Re: Why?

        If you are boiling carrots (why roast them or eat then raw much tastier) then you would normally be at home so why do you need to be able to monitor it from across the planet. By the time you get back they would be a soggy mush.

    4. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Why?

      To go with one's IoT Fire Extinguisher.

      In case one is on the other side of the planet and want to put out the fire caused by using the air fryer from the other side of the planet.

  3. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "there is a virtually identical "non-smart" one for the same price"

    Jolly good show! Common sense prevails after all? Why on earth would you want your fryer to talk to your phone? Although it's not a deep fryer (extremely dangerous) it must still pose some hazard, so you should be watching it. Furthermore, according to Business Insider, the "smart" features "aren't as useful as they could be".

    I strongly suspect that, apart from the "digital = good, analog = legacy" angle, app control works out cheaper to manufacture than having physical controls on the appliance, which is largely why items like DVD players have progressively dropped front panel controls in favour of "remote only". The most extreme example of such cost cutting is $15,000 dollar oscilloscopes with minimal unergonomic multi-function front panel controls but touch screen control. That's right, spend fifteen grand on it then cover the information screen with finger marks and scratches.

    1. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: "there is a virtually identical "non-smart" one for the same price"

      To be fair, the majority of users for things like oscilloscopes will use the web interface anyway. You want the connection to be able to capture data anyway, and if you're doing delicate experiments that don't want humans nearby, or dangerous ones where you really don't want anyone nearby, a remote interface is by far the best option. The touchscreen is essentially just optional local access to the normal controls, instead of having to implement an entirely separate second control system using knobs and such. We have oscilloscopes that haven't been touched in a decade or more other than to occasionally plug in a different cable.

      1. Mike 137 Silver badge

        Re: "there is a virtually identical "non-smart" one for the same price"

        I wholeheartedly agree about remote control and that's what we do for any complex measurement regime. So why have a screen at all? But when you do want to use the scope manually e.g. for a quick test you find the physical controls are seriously hard to use. Our oldest scope (30+ years and still running to better than manufacturer's spec) has clearly understandable controls - one for each task. We recently looked at a current 4 channel beast (not cheapo) that had one set of physical channel controls and a channel select button plus on screen indications of the settings only for the selected channel. Same goes for our relatively new fast signal generator, so you can only see one channel's settings at a time. Saves knobs, but makes a user's life more difficult.

        I guess ergonomics is dead as a science - it now seems to mean nothing more than knobbly chairs. So not surprisingly the same has happened to cameras. My pro gear from several decades back has a single knob or rotary control for each function. My latest digital camera has a tiny rotating + 4 way + push button that does several things at once and the set of things it does depends on the "mode" you're in so you have to remember that. Furthermore it's positioned so you can't use it conveniently while looking through the viewfinder.

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: "there is a virtually identical "non-smart" one for the same price"

          understandable controls - one for each task

          But, but, but, surely the modern idiot idiom is to overload controls with multiple functions; the eventual aim is that there is just one button to push (and we do that before it leaves the factory) which so annoys the customer that he throws the device away. Requiring him to buy a new one, of course.

          In forty years and more of using oscilloscopes for real measurements in development and fault-finding, I have *never* used a remote control if a front panel is available. And while I'm ranting: there is no sane use case, ever, for touch screens to control anything more than answering a phone. And I'm not sure about that.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge

            Re: "there is a virtually identical "non-smart" one for the same price"

            But, but, but, surely the modern idiot idiom is to overload controls with multiple functions; the eventual aim is that there is just one button to push (and we do that before it leaves the factory) which so annoys the customer that he throws the device away. Requiring him to buy a new one, of course.

            "The machine was rather difficult to operate. For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive – you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope."

        2. Cuddles Silver badge

          Re: "there is a virtually identical "non-smart" one for the same price"

          "But when you do want to use the scope manually e.g. for a quick test you find the physical controls are seriously hard to use."

          To be fair, I don't think the problem there is really with the touchscreen, since that just replicates the remote interface. The problem is that the remote interfaces are universally terrible in the first place. I'm not sure having separate physical controls designed by the same people would actually help matters.

    2. yetanotheraoc

      Re: "there is a virtually identical "non-smart" one for the same price"

      "you should be watching it"

      That's what the kitchen-cam is for.

  4. FlamingDeath Silver badge

    Capitalism has a lot to answer for lol

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Paul Herber Silver badge

        That Lol Creme from 10cc, is he some kind of comedian?

  5. heyrick Silver badge

    Hmm, yet another company...

    ...that makes a "cool connected gadget", sells it, then ignores problems.

    There's a part of me that suspects a lot of these companies can't fix bugs, as their involvement was barely more than slapping their own logo on something mass produced in the Middle Kingdom.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Hmm, yet another company...

      I think it is more that they are kitchen appliance manufacturers who just don't understand what selling computers involves.

      1. fredblogggs

        false dichotomy

        They are mass-produced Chinese kitchen appliance rebranders who just don't understand what selling computers involves.

  6. katrinab Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Cisco's infosec arm advised that folks using open-source network intrusion detection system Snort to sniff out suspicious traffic [...] could detect exploitation attempts using the 56729 rule.

    Katrinab advises that people could avoid this hassle by using a dumb airfryer.

    It doesn't have robotic arms to take the chips or whatever out of the freezer, and put them on the plate when cooked. So you still need to physically operate it. Once you are finished putting the chips [etc] in it, it is surely far easier to press the physical on button on the thing than mess around with a smartphone app to do the same thing.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flame bait

    Chip pan fires used to be enough of a thing in the UK that we had Public Information Films about wet tea towels and not throwing water at them, so I could see the benefit of an appliance that called the emergency services when you set the kitchen on fire. I guess ordering a new product and tipping off local painters & decorators might be taking it a bit far though.

    1. fredblogggs

      Re: Flame bait

      "I could see the benefit of an appliance that called the emergency services..."

      Benefit to whom? Purpose-built smoke and fire detectors made by experienced safety appliance manufacturers have frequent false positives and false negatives; why would you trust a Chinese air fryer manufacturer to get it right? The only people who'd benefit are firebugs who can get away with setting fires somewhere else while emergency services are tied up responding to false alarms triggered by crap kettle firmware.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Flame bait

      >Chip pan fires used to be enough of a thing in the UK that we had Public Information Films

      Chip pan fires used to be enough of a thing until we got oven chips.

      Only true connoisseurs of the deep fried vegetable still used chip pans after McCain's breakthrough

      1. Janne Smith

        Re: Flame bait

        I suspect electric deep fat friers ended the spate of chip pan fires. No longer needing to have an open pan of flammable oil on a gas ring.

        1. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

          Re: Flame bait

          Electric deep fryers! Too much work to clean, never the "right size" for what you need to cook. Nothing better than the proper sized pan full of the proper oil to deep fry what you need!

          You just need to pay attention to what your doing, do not over heat, do not over fill, do not leave unattended!

  8. oiseau Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Deserve what you get ...

    Well ...

    Anyone stupid enough to purchase a connected anything for the kitchen deserves what they get for such nonsense.

    O.

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Deserve what you get ...

      Well, you may mock, you luddite, but I have a connected smart fork. It’s really great. With its 5G interface and integrated JVM, it can instantly detect and inform me when there’s food on the end of it, and send me a picture of it no matter where in the world I am. Of course, there are compromises, because being an early adopter is hard - it can’t go in the dishwasher or indeed come into contact with water at all, and the battery life is about 5 minutes (which is a health benefit! Just means I have to eat faster!).

      Oh, and I need to update its firmware every week or so and there’s the occasional problem checking in with the licensing server, but let’s face it, those are problems with regular forks too, right?

      Yep, the future is here. The tines, they are a-changing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Deserve what you get ...

        All that for a forking pun...

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Deserve what you get ...

          But you must at least admire my skillet making it.

      2. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Deserve what you get ...

        But can you use that fork to dislodge a piece of gravel that's gotten stuck under your shoe?

        Because then they would truly be the tines that pry men's soles.

  9. Zarno Bronze badge
    Holmes

    Internet enabled cooking things.

    About the only internet enabled cooking thing I would want is a monitoring and stoking system for my charcoal barrel smoker.

    Load it in the AM, set a temp profile, let it auto-stoke, and then lounge in the boat till food is done.

    Sadly, there are precious few options, and most either require an app and subscription, or app and the phone on the same local network.

    I'm more of the mindset of pulling the data and stuffing on a webpage.

    I'm thinking I could press one of the server room monitoring units or weather station bases into service, if I ever find one with a thermocouple probe input that can survive 100C for hours on end.

    Grumble grumble, make one myself...

    I could have also sworn there were chicken nuggets in the article photo earlier this morning.

    Icon because now I'm wondering who ate the nuggets.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Internet enabled cooking things.

      I built myself a cold smoker a while back, tomorrow I am smoking a few kilos of cured pork belly.

      I would never trust a robot to control my bacon output, it's an art that requires a human in the loop and why would I want to be curing and smoking bacon from the other side of the world when I should be there ready to cook and sample some?

      Pork belly futures? Yes I have got some.

      1. Zarno Bronze badge
        Pint

        Re: Internet enabled cooking things.

        The only reason I'm entertaining automation is my current setup is ball valve controlled for the vent air, and that does require some overseeing to regulate once the coals start to burn down, or wind picks up.

        Makes it hard to rip around on the water when you're anxiety is bopping you over the head saying you should be checking the temps.

        The neighbors solved the issue by switching out their propane smoker for an electric one, which gives a nice constant temp, but lacks that je ne sais quoi of using charcoal as the heat source.

        For me it's mostly beef short ribs or whole pork shoulder/butt for pulled pork, the occasional chicken, so slightly more forgiving to temp fluctuations than the candy of the gods that is bacon. :)

        Pint!

    2. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: Internet enabled cooking things.

      Sous vide benefits a little from remote observation: there's not much you can do if you aren't near enough to interfere if it goes wrong but at least you'll know that you should order a takeaway, and you may be able to tell if it's still safe for the dogs.

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Internet enabled cooking things.

        Presumably with more discernment than the dogs themselves will show - my labrador will eat anything at all provided it’s not actually green, rancid, and furry with mold.

        No, wait, that’s unfair to him, I take that back. He’ll eat those too.

        And my Westie will do the same, and then spend the next half hour obsessively licking the floor in a 3-yard radius just in case there’s any microscopic traces of flavor there.

  10. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    Ok. Beyond the only obvious use (from the consumer point of view) of being to able to load the appliance up before you go out (to work, to the pub etc) , then start it doing whatever before you leave for home, so it should be finished when you get home (something you can do with intelligent use of timers anyway), and the other use (bragging rights), what, for the consumer, is the advantage of “smart” kitchen appliances?

    Most of them have to be loaded with something (food, dishes, washing etc) before they can work anyway. So, to use these devices, you need to be present, or plan ahead (in which case you could use a timer).

    The only exception I can think of is a fridge. It should keep cold whether you are at home or not. However, I’d query the need for smart fridges as well. The only reason them being “smart” might be handy is ordering food when it runs low, but the humans can easily do that by looking when they take something out. No need to add another potential group of holes to your network security.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Pint

      The one thing

      that would require some sort of remote control:

      load the appliance up before you go out (to work, to the pub etc) , then start it doing whatever before you leave for home, so it should be finished when you get home (something you can do with intelligent use of timers anyway),

      is when your pub-leaving time is rather variable.

    2. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

      the only thing the connected fridge can do that;s at all useful is tell you when your overpriced water (and air) filters need replacing and suggest you buy them from the Mfr as extremely high prices. Most of these filters are available from 3rd party Mfrs. for about 1/3 the price.

  11. Gil Grissum

    Connected Crap

    Things like this, are why I never bought into/subscribed to any "connected" junk, either in my home, or car. Thanks to Managers claiming "cost savings"/Productivity improvements, which never happened, I've had two contract jobs screw me. A human, at the controls, thanks!!

    1. KBeee Bronze badge

      Re: Connected Crap

      I dunno. My car is the only connected device I have (apart from phone/computer/TV), and it's quite useful to be able to start it 15 minutes or so before you intend to leave home on a freezing cold day to de-ice. Or if left in the sun during summer to cool the cabin down.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: Connected Crap

        and it's quite useful to be able to start it 15 minutes or so before you intend to leave home on a freezing cold day to de-ice

        You usually know what time you're going to leave home for work, so setting a timer is a feasible option. Which I did for several weeks, 35 years ago to get a 12 year old diesel started in -20C as otherwise the engine was rather stroppy. And even in the tropics I didn't bother with air conditioning (which wasn't there in most of the cars anyway[0]); just knowing where to park it and draping a towel over the seat took care of that.

        [0] someone I knew had bought an Audi with air conditioning, which was still a bit of a luxury back then. Back in Europe he found that that option was an XOR with heating.

  12. TheProf Silver badge
    Devil

    We've contacted Corosi for comment.

    REACHED OUT TO!

    No wonder you haven't heard back from them. This could be the reason why Mr Apple doesn't answer you.

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser

      Re: We've contacted Corosi for comment.

      I bet you use "leverage" as a verb as well.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: We've contacted Corosi for comment.

        That's an impactful contribution. Let's drive stakeholder synergy through meaningful inclusiveness.

  13. Inventor of the Marmite Laser

    Can we please have an agreed term for things that are not smart? Whilst "Non-Smart" seems appropriate, it doesn't lend itself to a clear acronym, I prefer "TAS" as the descriptive acronym. "TAS" standing, of course, for "Thick as Shit".

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smart devices

    Marketing BS

    Security nightmare

  15. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

    Coming soon!

    Chip in the bottom of your beer bottle!

    "Oh you've drank six bottles? We are sending you another 6 pack and billing your credit card!

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