Fancy opening up your light switches to the internet?

When Terence Eden started playing with a wifi light switch, he found some rather worrying things…

Terence Eden is trying to put some wifi light switches into his home And he’s trying to avoid the hub model of connected lights, whereby you have a central hub connected to WiFI that controls the lights (like the Philips Hue system, which I’m playing with right now). So, he bought a WiFi light switch that looked like it would work with the UK’s rather unique wiring set up. And (spoiler alert) it didn’t.

The Talkative light switch

But the scary thing was that the light switch was “phoning home” – to let you turn on lights remotely. Why is this scary? Well, there’s the small issue of security:

So it sends a packet with the light switch’s ID number in it. That appears to be all. I assume that the switch makes a similar persistent connection to that IP address so it can listen out for instructions. I was too scared to port scan the light switch.

I’m guessing, with a small amount of effort, you could toggle strangers’ lights to your heart’s content.

And that’s the big challenge in getting people to trust the internet of things.