Feb 6, 2020 - Technology

The hackable lightbulb

Screenshot from Check Point video

Screenshot from Check Point video

If you connect your lightbulb to the internet, the internet could connect back, according to a new report from Check Point detailing a security flaw in Philips Hue Smart Bulbs.

How it works: This isn't really about cyber criminals gaslighting you by dimming your lights — but that's exactly how this hack starts.

  • Erratic behavior by the bulb prompts the owner to reboot the network, giving hackers a chance to slip some malware into the system.
  • They gain entrance to your home network via an entry point you didn't even know existed.

Details: An attacker with a laptop and an antenna within 328 feet of your smart bulb could execute this attack, according to Check Point.

  • The researchers said the exploit depends on a flaw in the Zigbee protocol, a basic building block of "internet of things" (IoT) products that's widely used by many so-called smart home devices.
  • Philips has issued a patch for owners of the affected products.

What's next: The IoT industry remains a security disaster waiting to happen, according to many experts. Reports like this keep the industry on its toes, but it still has a long way to go.

Go deeper: A truly smart home needs to be more than just connected

Go deeper