Help My Home Was Hacked! Not Really

  • Posted on: 11 February 2012
  • By: Patrick Oliphant

In the future our home will be accessible electronically from anywhere; provided there is internet connection. To go a bit further the model for future home electrical devices and components is they should be communicable, even the light bulb we use. The idea behind the” internet of things” is that every one of these components and devices will have an IP address or addressable, thus the demand for IPv6.  This intercommunication is not a question of if because these technologies are already available.

When you think of the future home in terms of the life style and the technology change, it is clear to see that at the core of these two things is accessibility.  We will need every thing to be accessible more than they are today and to achieve this more of our life will need to be open. We will need home appliances that are connected, flexible and smart.

At the moment most of us are worried about viruses infecting our home computer and to a lesser extent our phones, home appliances and control systems.  The idea of some unscrupulous person hacking into our home and changing our security system and tampering with all connected devices is a far thought for most of us.  But, just as we actively protect our home computer, in the near future (or now) we will be protecting our home electrical devices from cyber attacks.

Why is this, you may ask? Looking at the need for accessibility, using a Smartphone, tablet, PC or laptop, already we are able to access our digital content from home while we are away.  Also available is the technology that allows us to access and manage some of our home appliances and at the same time get live vide feeds of inside our home. You are able to check if your doors and windows are lock, get alerts if they are open while you are out.  Although some of these solutions are at an early stage it gives us and idea of the future.

Another technology that is opening up our homes is the smart meter, which will soon replace the standard utility meters.  A smart meter will remove the need for you to tell your provider your meter reading or have someone comes around to read it for you. It will collect your energy usage data and sends it automatically to your utility provider between every 5 – 15 minutes interval.  This will allow the energy provider to have almost real-time information on our energy needs.

All this accessibility will be made possible by our broadband router or powerline communication and open up our home in a different way. Like many organisation it will become critical that we protect not only our home computer with virus software but all home appliances from the home gateway.  Our home security will need to be both physical and cyber aware.