Jan 12, 2017: Internet of Things (IoT) security experts warn that LED lighting industry needs to be careful, as smart LED lighting systems could easily open up gates for hackers.
According to IoT security expert Ken Munro, lighting manufacturers as well as users are not doing enough to improve IoT security. Munro is UK’s leading ‘ethical hacker’.
A survey carried out by Accenture, a services firm, found that 13% of consumers currently own an IoT device, and by 2019, this will rise to 70%.
Speaking at LuxLive, Munro warned that the lighting industry should wake up to this security issue, otherwise the technology will turn into a Trojan Horse for hackers.
As revenues from LED luminaires start to decline, many companies are turning to IoT for better margins. But in their rush to make IoT products available in the market, vendors are ignoring the cyber security issue.
Suddenly, demand for IoT devices cropped up, leading to manufacturers rushing to develop IoT devices. As a result, a huge number of IoT devices are being developed that are vulnerable to hacking.
In October 2016, hackers hijacked thousands of IoT devices, including smart lights that crashed some of the world’s biggest websites including PayPal and Twitter.
Munro asked the lighting vendors to ensure that the mobile application that controls an IoT lighting product should be written securely, otherwise the product can be easily hijacked.
He said that when a manufacturer makes an IoT product, it is sold to consumers as well as hackers. Hacker can open the device, and extract the firmware (the software that runs on the chips) from the the chip set.