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Smart Bulbs Can Hack Personal Information: Reasearch

According to the analysis, the next prime target could be the smart bulb that shoppers buy this coming holiday season

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Smart Bulbs
Your Smart Bulbs could come equipped with infrared capabilities, and most users don't know that the invisible wave spectrum can be controlled. You can misuse those lights. Pixabay

Smart bulbs are expected to be a popular purchase this holiday season. But could lighting your home open up your personal information to hackers? Now a new study from an Indian-origin researcher shows that the hacker’s next prime target could be that smart bulb.

Some smart bulbs connect to a home network without needing a smart home hub, centralised hardware or software device where another internet of things (IoT) products communicate with each other.

Smart home hubs, which connect either locally or to the cloud, are useful for IoT devices that use the Zigbee or Z-Wave protocols or Bluetooth, rather than Wi-Fi.

“Your smart bulb could come equipped with infrared capabilities, and most users don’t know that the invisible wave spectrum can be controlled. You can misuse those lights,” said study lead author Murtuza Jadliwala, Professor from the University of Texas at San Antonio in the US.

“Any data can be stolen: texts or images. Anything that is stored in a computer,” Jadliwala added.

Earlier this year Amazon’s Echo made global headlines when it was reported that consumers’ conversations were recorded and heard by thousands of employees.

Smart Bulbs
Some Smart Bulbs connect to a home network without needing a smart home hub, centralised hardware or software device where another internet of things (IoT) products communicate with each other. Pixabay

Now researchers have conducted a review of the security holes that exist in popular smart-light brands.

According to the analysis, the next prime target could be the smart bulb that shoppers buy this coming holiday season.

If these same bulbs are also infrared-enabled, hackers can send commands via the infrared invisible light emanated from the bulbs to either steal data or spoof other connected IoT devices on the home network, the study said.

The owner might not know about the hack because the hacking commands are communicated within the owner’s home Wi-Fi network, without using the internet.

Smart bulbs have moved beyond novelty to a lucrative mature market. Last year consumers spent close to $8 billion, and that amount is expected to more than triple to $28 billion in less than a decade.

Smart Bulbs
If these Smart Bulbs are also infrared-enabled, hackers can send commands via the infrared invisible light emanated from the bulbs to either steal data or spoof other connected IoT devices on the home network. Pixabay

“These bulbs are now poised to become a much more attractive target for exploitation even though they have very simple chips,” Jadliwala said.

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Jadliwala recommends that consumers opt for bulbs that come with a smart home hub rather than those that connect directly to other devices. (IANS)

Next Story

Upcoming Apple iPhone May Have Qualcomm Ultrasonic Fingerprint Sensor

Apple might be using OLED displays from Samsung that are thinner than the displays currently being used

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Apple
As per the report, Apple may use Qualcomm's X55 modems in all its 2020 iPhones, which support both mmWave and sub-6GHz spectrum. Pixabay

Apple is reportedly planing to use Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint sensor technology in one iPhone model, set to be released in 2020.

The iPhone maker was partnering with Taiwanese touchscreen maker GIS to develop an iPhone for 2020 or 2021 that could use the under-display tech, MacRumors reported on Wednesday.

Qualcomm unveiled the new 3D Sonic Max ultrasonic fingerprint reader on Tuesday at its third annual Snapdragon Technology Summit.

Qualcomm supplies ultrasonic fingerprint sensors for Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note10 smartphones. But iPhones could use an even more advanced version of the technology by 2020 or 2021 rolls in.

J.P. Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee believes, Apple will release a 5.4-inch iPhone, two 6.1-inch iPhones and one 6.7-inch iPhone with 5G connectivity in 2020.

Chatterjee predicts the company may introduce two high-end models (one 6.1-inch and one 6.7-inch) with support for mmWave, as well as a triple-lens camera and “world facing” 3D sensing for improved augmented reality capabilities.

Apple
Apple is reportedly planing to use Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint sensor technology in one iPhone model, set to be released in 2020. Pixabay

While, two low-end models (6.1-inch, 5.4-inch) will not have mmWave or World facing 3D sensing, and will have a dual-lens camera.

As per the report, Apple may use Qualcomm’s X55 modems in all its 2020 iPhones, which support both mmWave and sub-6GHz spectrum.

ALSO READ: What Is So Special About the African Jungle Safari?

All four iPhone models will have OLEDs. Apple might be using OLED displays from Samsung that are thinner than the displays currently being used. (IANS)