“If Your Toilet’s So Smart, How Come I Can Hack It?”

Thus reads the headlines on David Meyer’s Gigaom post on news that the Satis toilet, manufactured by the Japanese firm Lixii, comes with a smartphone app that can be used to control any Satis toilet (see also this BBC news article). You may wonder why a toilet needs an app, which is a valid question; this one allows recording of one’s activity (if you so choose …), remote flushing, remote air freshener spray, and remote bidet operation. Subjective utility being what it is, I’ll consider Lixii as entrepreneurs responding to what they perceive as some undersatisfied preference in the market, which the extent of their subsequent profits will indicate or not …

Although the story is scatologically humorous, Meyer’s closing observation hits upon exactly the same point I made recently in my post about the hackability of home management systems:

Of course, it’s not like someone will be exploiting this vulnerability to prank someone a continent away — Bluetooth is a pretty short-range wireless technology. However, it’s the kind of thing that should be borne in mind by manufacturers who are starting to jazz up previously low-tech appliances with new-fangled connectivity.

Because when it comes to security, as Trustwave SpiderLabs and others have warned, the home is the last place you want to be caught with your pants down.

3 thoughts on ““If Your Toilet’s So Smart, How Come I Can Hack It?”

  1. Pfft. Shipped with demo code/trying to slip crazy liability terms past electronics contractor. Since (I think) there is no rear-view mirror in this particular make-cute make-poo device, it’s a pretty harmless way to find out whether kids and/or relatives with NSA privileges have matured and/or bought you a swap fine dress outfit.

  2. GigaOM is looking pretty hot to follow EVs and domestic data security conferences too, so nice find w.r.t. that! (Good press in September beyond Games (Penny Arcade…Network?) and Obama v. Butlers v. Black Republicans v. Republicans.

    Toilet grinders coming on at odd hours of the AM from Bluetooth Trailblazing is definitely no good, no matter how nicely soundproofed the install.

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