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WiFi Kettles in London Found Leaking Home Network Passwords

Monday, October 19th, 2015 (3:43 pm) - Score 974

Do you own one of those swanky, if not entirely necessary, Kettles with built-in WiFi (e.g. iKettle)? The chances are that you don’t, but if you did then you’d need to be careful because ethical hackers in London are showing just how easy it is to steal your home network key (PSK).

The idea of such kettles is that they can be controlled from an iOS / Android based Smartphone or Tablet, which means you can boil it before you get home or from another room, which doesn’t sound especially wise. In our opinion such things should always be supervised and in any case you still have to put water into the thing.

However the security, or lack thereof, involved with such devices is not a new concern and in fact Pen Test Partners has already revealed the problem in some detail (here and here). Such Kettles can be particularly easy to hack because they don’t verify the WiFi access point by anything other than SSID.

On top of that if you have an un-configured iKettle then you’ve probably also still got the default device PIN code of “000000” assigned, which means that a hacker can use this knowledge to brute force the device into essentially leaking out the key code for your home WiFi network.

A new map of vulnerable devices in London has been published that appears to show just how common this problem could be and that wasn’t even an extensive study. Once inside your network the hackers would no doubt attempt to gain admin access to your router as well, but that’s another challenge. Also they could ruin the kettle by keeping it hot or re-boiling it, which increases the risk of fire or personal harm.

In the meantime the best solution, until an update is released, is probably to switch the Kettle on and off at the mains when you want to boil it.. you know, kind of like how a normal kettle works. Actually, you could just buy a normal kettle.

Leave a Comment
7 Responses
  1. Avatar Matt says:

    I’m shocked that anyone thinks they need a kettle which has WiFi lol I didn’t even know they existed lol.

  2. Avatar sentup.custard says:

    I don’t have one of these – but I am getting lazy in my old age, so if someone’s going to hack the thing and make the tea for me, I might be tempted to buy one.
    😉

    1. Avatar Andrius says:

      But at what price? Once they have access to your WiFi they will do ARP poisoning to do man in the middle attack and eventually steal your passwords. And if you reuse passwords it might be even worse.

    2. Avatar sentup.custard says:

      No worries – I don’t use WiFi on my computer, the router would only be connected to my soon-to-be-purchased WiFi Plate Rack, WiFi Bread Bin, WiFi Butter Dish, WiFi Cutlery Tray, and the jar of home-made Organic WiFi Damson Jam that my sister gave me, so that the nice hacker can make a quick bite for me while he’s at it.
      🙂

  3. Avatar Bob2002 says:

    Just made a cup of tea, the kettle took 1 minute 25 seconds to boil, however I suppose much more time could be saved if they gave the kettle a 10Gb ethernet port … 🙂

    1. Avatar New_Londoner says:

      What we need are men with fibre, moral and optic, to provide you with 10Gbps synchronous connectivity so you don’t need to leave the couch to boil the kettle. It’s all a conspiracy by the beggar that is the incumbent , in cahoots with Ofcon, to stop this and is impairing your human rights.

      Let’s cancel HS2 to fund this, help the fat cats get fatter by staying on the couch! 😉

  4. Avatar tonyp says:

    I wonder if they have these at GCHQ?

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