A light bulb can cause a cyber attack. Recently popular websites like Twitter, Reddit, and Amazon were taken down by an attack that was prompted by a chain reaction on semi-infected smart bulbs linked to smart devices.
Unlike our personal computers, mobile phones and pads, which run an anti-virus/ anti- malware softwares, smart devices like light bulbs, new in the market, are often not secured.
The brand in question, Philips Hue light bulbs, have an inbuilt ability to control bulbs’ brightness and colour via smartphone apps. The wireless protocol – called ZigBee in the bulb can be exploited for cyber attacks. The malware can spread virally from one bulb to the other enabling attackers to turn on or off all city lights within minutes.
Even though this has been set right incase of Philips bulbs, one needs to keep updating the software to ward off the possibility of such attacks. Webcams, baby monitors, and smart appliances are likely to be vulnerable to such attacks.
There is no one solution but for the manufacturers of smart devices to step up their timely security up-gradation to prevent disruption on a larger scale.
Like they say, there is light at the end of the tunnel and for those uninitiated to such smart devices yet, here are couple of videos to keep oneself bright perhaps at least seasonally with city lights.