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."

Re: Looked into connected thermostat... (Score: 1)

by on 2016-07-29 11:11 (#1NVQV)

I'm partly with you. I live in Canada and I have programmable thermostats. In the winter there's no reason to have the house at a human comfortable temperature all the time. The thermostats are set to 62 deg in the winter. We suffer the cold in the morning because we're only in the house long enough to have breakfast then we're out the door for the day, but the thermostats all kick in about 30 minutes before we get home to heat the house to 70 deg. Then they shut off about an hour before bed.

The reason this works well for us is because my wife loves to crank the heat to 75 degs, then never remembers to turn it off, which has costs us a fortune in the past. With the programmables she can still occasionally crank the heat, but the thermostat always readjusts automatically when the next trigger time kicks in. They're also easy enough to set to a constant temperature if we're going on vacation and then we can just hit the "run" button to put them back on their regular schedule when we get back.

Where I agree with you is, it's just a convenience. We could survive perfectly fine with the analog mercury thermostat. These are just easier so we don't always have to remember if they're on or off and the house is warm when we get home in the winter. In the summer I just flip the switches and turn them off altogether.
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