Apple’s HomeKit security screwup spotlights the risk of smart homes

“The expression ‘safe as houses’ will become a thing of the past if tech firms don’t get connected home security right, and the need to be incredibly watchful was visible in Apple’s latest security blunder this week,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld

“The latest iOS 11.2 update held a zero-day vulnerability attackers could exploit to control smart home devices, including connected locks, 9to5Mac explains,” Evans writes. “While the vulnerability was difficult to exploit, and Apple has acted very swiftly to close this security gap, its existence exposes the risk of smart homes. Smart locks must really be locks, and not subject to being undone by opportunistic hackers.”

“While others rushed to market with smart home systems, Apple realised the need to ensure security protection in its smart home technologies early on. Its response was to develop HomeKit as a platform for smart home devices on iOS, but to ensure those solutions compatible with HomeKit meet certain criteria, including use of approved technologies,” Evans writes. “The strength of that approach is – oddly enough – proven by Apple’s response to this latest vulnerability. You see, Apple was able to address a platform-wide problem by making a temporary fix to its own HomeKit servers.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Nobody’s perfect, but Apple is lately a lot more imperfect than we expect them to be.

We pay for “it just works,” Apple. When you stop providing that, the gravy train will stop, too. Get your act together, Apple! — MacDailyNews, December 2, 2017

SEE ALSO:
Zero-day iOS HomeKit flaw allowed remote access to IoT devices including door locks, garage door openers; fix rolling out – December 8, 2017
Updating to latest macOS 10.13.1 disables Apple’s ‘root’ bug patch; you’ll need to reinstall Apple’s root security fix – December 2, 2017
Apple on Mac flaw: ‘We apologize to all Mac users. Our customers deserve better. We are auditing our development processes.’ – November 29, 2017
Apple releases fix for macOS High Sierra administrator authentication bypass flaw – November 29, 2017
Tim Cook’s sloppy, unfocused Apple rushes to fix a major Mac security bug – November 29, 2017
What to do about Apple’s shameful Mac security flaw in macOS High Sierra – November 29, 2017
Apple’s late, delayed, limited HomePod is looking more and more like something I don’t want – November 27, 2017
Why Apple’s HomePod is three years behind Amazon’s Echo – November 21, 2017
Under ‘operations genius’ Tim Cook, product delays and other problems are no longer unusual for Apple – November 20, 2017
Apple delays HomePod release to early 2018 – November 17, 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook: The ‘operations genius’ who never has enough products to sell at launch – October 23, 2017
Apple reveals HomePod smart home music speaker – June 5, 2017
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
Apple is misplaying the hand Steve Jobs left them – November 30, 2016
Apple delays AirPod rollout – October 26, 2016
Apple delays release of watchOS 2 due to bug – September 16, 2015
Apple delays HomeKit launch until autumn – May 14, 2015
Apple delays production of 12.9-inch ‘iPad Pro’ in face of overwhelming iPhone 6/Plus demand – October 9, 2014
Tim Cook’s mea culpa: iMac launch should have been postponed – April 24, 2013

12 Comments

  1. Tim needs to figure out if he wants to run the business or continue playing social justice ballerina. His current plan is falling apart at the seams and it’s getting old!!!

    1. Well said, Apple needs to “eat its own dogfood”. I’d also like to mandate all Apple employees use only Apple branded computers and iPads to do all their work, so if there’s a bug in the software it impacts them, too.

    1. Steve Ballmer has signalled his interest in the Apple CEO position. I think he should be considered. Steve has beaucoup experience in the role. He would bring hard-nosed Windows expertise to the problematic macOS security fiasco. He knows how to defuse public-relations problems by expertly issuing glib assurances. He is just as ruthless as Steve Jobs but without the cloying Buddhist rhetoric. And he’s charismatic, as handsome and bald as Kojak, just as gritty, and he can dance! Best of all, he would find new opportunities for underperforming lieutenants: cabinetmaking for Jony Ive, and sanitary engineering for Eddy Cue. (Eddy reminds me of the Mario brothers for some reason.)

      There, I’ve proposed an actual solution instead of coming across as a delirious whiner, partisan, homophobe, misogynist, or casual sloganeer. I think.

      1. Thank you!

        Sadly, there’s a noticeable disinterest around this place in anything witty or amusing. Only poliTardiness and Apple hate, pro or con, draws the eyes of the automatons or even the smarties. It strikes me that this place is imploding alongside the increasingly dementia ridden US political party its masters champion.

        I personally am deriving far more joy from 9to5Mac and MacRumors. Just another Rodential fanatic fleeing a sinking ship of fools? O_O Eyes open.

        1. And yes kids, I note the demential failings of that other worthless US political party as well. Their vein attempts at propping up their future reputation, as seen via C-Span this past week, was choking with dust old gaseous emissions. Trotting out John Podesta to explain/pretend away the impact of his email hack was laughable.

          Will real leaders PLEASE STAND UP! You’re wanted.

          1. We do have leaders but all of them, long ago, succumbed to mysterious pied pipers who lured our precious children away by playing infectious tunes. The pipers at the gates of dawn have always entertained bargains with crass leadership, promising freedom and salvation but only at a terrible price. Thus do leaders sacrifice their followers, and doom themselves.

  2. Internet Of Terror

    SUPERENIGMATIX (Lethal Appliances for the Home with Everything)

    Superenigmatix, there’s one hiding in the attic
    And it’s getting all ecstatic cause it goes on automatic
    When the lights go out.

    There’s one in the TV and it’s waiting there to please me
    And I’ve got to take it easy cause I know that it can see me
    When the lights go out.

    Inside, outside, watching me both night and day
    Sometimes I wish I could make it go away.

    Sometimes when I’m dreaming, I awake to find I’m screaming
    Cause they’ve taken all the meaning from the book that I was reading
    When the lights went out.

    I know it seems outspoken but I’d love to see them broken
    No more orders, no more slogans, no more keeping my eyes open
    When the lights go out.

    Inside, outside, watching me both night and day
    Sometimes I wish I could make them go away.

    Superenigmatix, always amateur dramatic
    And they’re trying to get me at it
    But I think I’m going to kick them in.

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