The Coming Internet-Of-Things Horror Show

in internet on (#1NNSC)
Like many others, Bruce Schneier is sounding the alarm that the Internet of Things security nightmare isn't just about things like poor or non-existent security for thermostats: rather, that "software control" of an ever-widening pool of interconnected devices and systems designed to act without human intervention creates an urgent threat the likes of which we've never seen.

Schneier says, "A recent Princeton survey found 500,000 insecure devices on the internet. That number is about to explode. Autonomy. Increasingly, our computer systems are autonomous. They buy and sell stocks, turn the furnace on and off, regulate electricity flow through the grid, and—in the case of driverless cars—automatically pilot multi-ton vehicles to their destinations. Autonomy is great for all sorts of reasons, but from a security perspective it means that the effects of attacks can take effect immediately, automatically, and ubiquitously."

Looked into connected thermostat... (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2016-07-28 14:36 (#1NRSH)

We just finished a replacement of a 40 year old gas furnace for our basement and first floor. Our second floor has separate heating and cooling, only about 10 years old. My wife and I remodelled the 120 year old "worker's cottage" ( ) style home in the mid 1990's. We kept our original furnace at the time. in 2001 we hired a crew to dormer the roof and finish the second floor (we had more money at this time and didn't have to do the work ourselves). At that time we installed separate heating and cooling in the second floor. We used a programmable, but non-connected thermostat.

Just this summer we replaced the old furnace for the first floor and basement. The furnace dated from the late 1970's and was not too efficient. We had central air added as well, along with some duct work changes.

I worked with the HVAC contractor to choose the best thermostat. We looked at all the options and the clear choice was a standard programmable thermostat. The benefits of a smart, connected thermostat were negligible. Once programmed, the standard thermostat adjusts and maintains the temperature perfectly on your schedule. It works well, costs less and is not vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

The benefits of a connected thermostat are few compared to a programmable, but the cost is much greater. Not really worth it.
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