Security glitch detected in smart light bulbs

In recent years, cars, printers, medical devices, baby video monitors and children’s toys have been discovered to be vulnerable to hackers. Now add one more smart, connected gadget to the list.

Light bulbs.

Researchers at Context Information Security have spotted a security weakness in a wifi enabled, energy efficient LED light bulb. The bulb is designed to let people remotely turn it on and off with their smartphone. But because of the flaw, hackers could take control of the lights. Context said the problem was detected in bulbs made by LIFX, which has since fixed the vulnerability.

The bulb issue reflects the growing concern many security researchers have about the billions of ordinary objects that are being computerized and connected as part of the so-called Internet of Things.

“It is clear that in the dash to get onto the IoT bandwagon, security is not being prioritized as highly as it should be in many connected devices,” Michael Jordon, Context’s research director, noted in a press release.

Illustration by Rick Nease/MCT archives


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  • sadoul1

    Hey let’s connect everything to everything, now I can remote my nuclear missiles from my toaster! Yey! >.>

  • The real question is: Who would want to turn my lights on or off? Not that there aren’t locations that might need the extra security, but most of us aren’t that important.

    • jbeme

      About two weeks after I got two, my neighbor set up a script to turn them off everytime I turn them on. The script is off now, but it was irritating.
      To be clear, these bulbs have almost 0 security. I don’t think it was ever considered an issue. The only time you have a problem is if someone thinks it’s funny for a while.