DDoS attack: Apple’s HomeKit for a safer smarthome

“Today we are building the Internet of Things, and the recent massive DDoS attack in which DVRs and connected cameras made by Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology were subverted to create a giant attack on the Internet is not an exception, but a warning of what to expect,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld.

“Two years ago I warned you this could happen. I cited an HP Fortify survey that warned around 70 percent of connected devices were vulnerable to attack,” Evans writes. “The Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology botnet tells us these attacks have now begun. This is serious stuff.”

“Poorly protected connected devices are all some hackers need to climb inside your network, bank account, home, personal and professional life, even the Internet itself. You have been warned,” Evans writes. “Apple has spent time thinking this through. This is why it insists devices sold as being compatible with HomeKit implement tough security and privacy protections. These include end-to-end encryption, secure chips, and a range of other security measures. Apple wants you to know that when you do use HomeKit kit you are less likely to be attacked, or to see information about you subverted in unexpected ways.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For home automation, smart people will go the HomeKit route.

Honeywell unveils Apple HomeKit-compatible Lyric T5 Wi-Fi thermostat – September 27, 2016
Google’s flaky Nest thermostat shakes users’ trust in the Internet of Things – January 19, 2016
Google’s Nest thermostat bug leaves users cold, angry – January 14, 2016
Honeywell announces ‘Lyric Round’ smart thermostat with Apple HomeKit integration – January 5, 2016
Apple HomeKit-compatible thermostat Ecobee closes in on Google’s Nest – September 28, 2015
Apple pulls Google’s Nest thermostat from stores with launch of HomeKit-compatible Ecobee 3 – July 23, 2015
First Apple-certified HomeKit-compliant devices launch – June 2, 2015
Google engineer trashes Tony Fadell’s precious Nest smoke alarm – February 19, 2015
With HomeKit and Honeywell’s Lyric, a Nest acquisition by Apple would have been foolish – June 18, 2014
Will Apple’s Internet of Things vision hurt a beautiful idea? With HomeKit, Apple promises easy home automation – June 6, 2014
Smart thermostat war heats up as Apple-partner Honeywell takes aim at Google’s Nest – June 13, 2014
Honeywell takes dead aim at Google’s Nest with new iPhone-compatible Lyric smart thermostat – June 10, 2014
Google to SEC: We could serve ads on thermostats, refrigerators, car dashboards, and more – May 21, 2014
Dead to me: Apple’s Schiller ‘unfollows’ Tony Fadell and Nest after Google acquisition – January 18, 2014

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Paul A.” for the heads up.]


  1. I find little information on what is currently vulnerable and how to determine if my network has such items. I mean, should we be concerned with consumer DVRs provided by our cable companies? And who is it that we should stay away from?

    Knowing Hangzhou Xiongmai, is a start.

    1. Good questions… There are only two primary internet paths into my home – my Comcast TV/internet connection and my WiFi network. I bought my own cable modem and run the output through an AirPort Extreme on which I set up a password protected WiFi network. But, as the author points out, each trusted end item on my WiFi network also represents a security risk – AppleTV, Roku, iPads, iPhones, gaming consoles, etc. and those risks multiply when you add wireless home security systems and home automation to the equation.

      I know that no solution is completely secure. There are always vulnerabilities. But I like Apple’s approach to privacy and security. If I add home automation in the future, it will be based on approved HomeKit products.

  2. All we hear about from Apple is HomeKit being some magic thing but nothing concrete as far as hardware or configuring (of course, without hardware, what is there to configure?). Get on with it Apple – get something we can wrap our hands round and buy. Except for a great WiFi Honeywell thermostat, I have held off buying garage door devices, cameras, etc. waiting for HomeKit to come to real fruition. Now is the time!

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