Feb 6, 2020 - Technology

The hackable lightbulb

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

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 5,931,112 — Total deaths: 357,929 — Total recoveries — 2,388,172Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,711,313 — Total deaths: 101,129 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. States: New York to allow private businesses to deny entry to customers without masks.
  4. Public health: Louisiana Sen. Cassidy wants more frequent testing of nursing home workers.
  5. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Chinese official's claims that coronavirus originated in U.S.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

Twitter fact-checks Chinese official's claims that coronavirus originated in U.S.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter slapped a fact-check label on a pair of months-old tweets from a Chinese government spokesperson that falsely suggested that the coronavirus originated in the U.S. and was brought to Wuhan by the U.S. military, directing users to "get the facts about COVID-19."

Why it matters: The labels were added after criticism that Twitter had fact-checked tweets from President Trump about mail-in voting, but not other false claims from Chinese Communist Party officials and other U.S. adversaries.

Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter, round two

President Trump is escalating his response to Twitter’s fact check of his recent tweets about mail-in voting, issuing an executive order that's designed to begin limiting social media's liability protections. Dan digs in with Axios' Margaret Harding McGill.

Go deeper: Twitter vs. Trump... vs. Twitter

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy