Pricey ‘Smart’ Toilets Vulnerable To Hacking

Pricey 'Smart' Toilets Vulnerable To HackingA luxury toilet controlled by a smartphone app is vulnerable to attack, according to security experts.

‘Hardware flaw’

Retailing for up to $5,686 (£3,821), the Satis toilet includes automatic flushing, bidet spray, music and fragrance release. The toilet, manufactured by Japanese firm Lixil, is controlled via an Android app called My Satis. But a hardware flaw means any phone with the app could activate any of the toilets, researchers say.


‘Can be activated by any phone’

The toilet uses bluetooth to receive instructions via the app, but the Pin code for every model is hardwired to be four zeros (0000), meaning that it cannot be reset and can be activated by any phone with the My Satis app, a report by Trustwave’s Spiderlabs information security experts reveals.

“An attacker could simply download the My Satis application and use it to cause the toilet to repeatedly flush, raising the water usage and therefore utility cost to its owner,” it says in its report. “Attackers could [also] cause the unit to unexpectedly open/close the lid, activate bidet or air-dry functions, causing discomfort or distress to [the] user.”

The limited range of bluetooth means that anyone wishing to carry out such an attack would need to be fairly close to the toilet itself, said security expert Graham Cluley.

How would you react if your toilet suddenly operated on its own? Should the Satis toilet be banned?

Source: Zoe Kleinman | BBC News

Image: For What It’s Worth

Canonical Announces Ubuntu OS For Smartphones

Canonical Announces Ubuntu OS For SmartphonesThe Ubuntu operating system has been adapted to run on smartphones. The Linux-based software will allow users to run desktop apps on their handsets, allowing them to double for PCs when docked to monitors. The code will initially be released as a file which can be installed on Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus phone, replacing Android.

‘First time in history’

Some analysts question whether consumers really want the power of a fully fledged computer on their phone. Even so, Ubuntu’s founder, Mark Shuttleworth, said he was in talks with manufacturers for devices to be sold with the system pre-installed within the year. While he acknowledged the innovation would likely be limited to “enthusiasts and hobbyists” at first, he said it signalled a wider shift on the horizon.

“It’s quite incredible that we’re at this point when the power of the phone is crossing over that with baseline processing power of basic laptops,” Mr Shuttleworth told the BBC. “We’re taking advantage of that so for the first time in history you have the full consumer PC platform available on a phone.”


Phones running the software will be showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next week.

Ubuntu is the most popular operating system to be based on the Linux kernel – the code that lets software and hardware work together. The London-based firm behind it, Canonical, offers it for download free of charge and has been helped by thousands of volunteers who contribute to the open source project. The firm makes money back by offering support and training and also plans to take a share of sales from online marketplaces offered by handset makers who adopt its software. It estimates that more than 20 million PCs already use it.

Are you thrilled about the Ubuntu platform for smartphones? Will this be the next big thing in mobile technology?

Source: Leo Kelion, BBC News

Image: Engadget