A spy under the tree for the holidays?

The Observer on IOT and spying

Quite enjoyed Guardian’s piece about the raff of home iot devices coming to the home these holidays.

If you’ve so far withstood the temptation to install a smart speaker in your home, worried about the potential privacy pitfalls and a bit embarrassed about the notion of chatting aimlessly to an inanimate object, brace yourselves. This Christmas, the world’s biggest tech giants, including Amazon, Google and Facebook, are making another bid for your living room, announcing a range of new devices that resemble tablets you can talk to.

It was a real welcome surprise to read/hear Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino too. Her new book Smarter Homes: How Technology Will Change Your Home Life is pretty much on the money.

“It’s very clear what they’re trying to do: sell you more stuff through third-party use of your own information,”

The fear about whether or not such devices are actually always on causes some users to relegate their smart speakers to corridors. “Think about where in the home you want to use these things, particularly if you think they might be listening all the time,”

I had the joy of capturing some of Alexandra’s early thoughts while putting together the ethics of personal data video interviews back in 2015.

I think the only thing missing from the article is a link to Mozilla’s buyers guide, which charts in a friendly consumer fashion whats actually going on underneath the surface of the iot devices we may get over the holiday period.

Tiger Team a review

Tiger Team hopes people turn there security around

Ok I take it all back, I was wrong. Tiger team is great. I thought it would be all style and no substance or really boring. But actually its very short (less that 20mins a episode) cut together into a reasonable paced documentatry. Its split into 5 pieces including part 4 the heist (yes 2 members of the camera crew do follow them into the heist) and part 5 the debrief. Its actually all good stuff and you get a good balance of social enginnering and computer exploits. For example they use a USB trojan and some social engineering on a receptionist to gain access to the internal network. Theres some technical material details but not enough to bore most people and maybe not enough to really be used for copycats. For example they don't say which software there using or how they pick locks. There's alot more analysis on the show in the Schneier blog post about the series. I wonder what some of these people would say about the real hustle?

The first episode was good but the second one really good because you could really see that it was a real challenge and they almost got caught too, which adds to the suspense. I really don't hope they don't cancel this series before it plays out. More photos here and because its not available in the UK, links to the torrents.

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