Inside IoT - July 20th, 2018

Inside IoT (Jul 20th, 2018)

Monster 24-hour botnet found in routers / Amazon rolls out "Part Finder" / Tariffs could spike Apple Watch costs

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1. NewSky Security spotted a new botnet monster this week from a hacker known for creating variations of the Mirai IoT malware. The new botnet managed to gather 18,000 routers (as of Wednesday evening) by “exploiting a vulnerability in Huawei HG532 routers,” according to Bleeping Computer. Bleeping Computer and NewSky spoke to hacker Anarchy, who reportedly bragged about his botnet and shared a list with the botnet victim’s IP addresses. Consider this a warning shot, as Anarchy reportedly built the malware within one day using a high-profile vulnerability “many botnets have exploited before.” What else is possible? Added bonus: NewSky may have interviewed Anarchy under their previous nom de guerre. — BLEEPING COMPUTER


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2. Amazon has rolled out a new “Part Finder” feature that allows users to point their smartphone camera at an item so Amazon can scan, match, and direct the user to purchase the item from the company’s website. According to TechCrunch, the feature is able to identify “over 100 types of fasteners, which represents thousands, if not millions of parts.” Amazon didn’t announce the launch of the feature, but confirmed to TechCrunch that it had been rolled out to all users a couple weeks ago. — TECHCRUNCH


3. A new report from Reuters has techies worried, as the latest set of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods could raise costs of “the Apple Watch, health trackers, streaming music speakers and other accessories assembled in China.” The devices fall under the category of data transmission machines, which are included in the more than 6,000 categories contained within the most recent round of proposed tariffs. “The way the president has been using his trade authority, you have direct examples of him using his authority to target specific products and companies,” said Sage Chandler, vice president for international trade policy at the Consumer Technology Association. — REUTERS


4. Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter have announced a joint initiative to make it easier to transfer data between platforms. Called the Data Transfer Project, the code is available on Github, as is a white paper describing the scope of the project. “We always want to think about user data protection first,” said a representative from Facebook’s data download product. “One of the things that’s nice about an API is that, as the data provider, we have the ability to turn off the pipeline or impose conditions on how they can use it. With a data download tool, the data leaves our hands, and it’s truly out there in the wild. If someone wants to use that data for bad purposes, Facebook truly cannot do anything about it.” — THE VERGE


5. The “cheapest” connected home security device (according to The Verge) has been updated to work with Alexa. The update also comes to the slightly more expensive ($30) Wyze Cam Pan, which adds a 360-degree remote view of a room on top of a 120-degree fish eye, as well as built in motion tracking. — TECHCRUNCH


6. The Wemo Mini smart plug receives a firmware update today that makes it the first device to implement Apple’s HomeKit smart home standard. The update allows Wemo Mini users to connect their smart outlets to HomeKit without needing to use the $40 Wemo Bridge hub. According to The Verge, Wemo says “it is looking to add HomeKit support to other Wemo products later this year.” — THE VERGE


7. AT&T is rolling out 5G to three new cities in 2018: Charlotte, Raleigh and Oklahoma City. These new cities join previously announced Dallas, Atlanta and Waco, which AT&T began upgrading in February. Why the smaller cities first? “All Americans should have access to next-gen connectivity to avoid a new digital divide,” AT&T said. — THE VERGE


8. I can definitely think of worse things...

“20th century: #Homes became #machines we live in: kitchen appliances, HVAC, garage-door openers, lights and switches.

21st century: Homes are becoming #computers we live in: the #InternetOfThings (#IoT), #Alexa, #Echo, @nest, #smartappliances, #screens, #facialrecognition.” - @AdamGraber


9. Expect this specter to follow IoT for awhile...

Big report out of Berkeley on the privacy risks around the Internet of Things.” - @rcalo (Prof. @UWSchoolofLaw & (by courtesy) @UW_iSchool | Co-Founder @TechPolicyLab | Affiliate Scholar @StanfordCIS & @YaleISP | Fellow @NewAmerica | Board @RSI)


10. Bleak, but true in many ways...

"’With email service providers and social media, we've long been told that if it's free, you're the product. But with the internet of things, it seems, even if you pay, you're still the product.’ @suryamattu” - @TEDTalks


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