What Happens When Internet Connected Light Bulbs Get Hacked?

I, Dr. Bulb, have been fascinated with Wi-Fi-enabled LED bulbs, and have even tried them out for myself. But researchers at Context Information Security recently announced that they have been able to expose a security weakness in a Wi-Fi-enabled, energy-efficient LED light bulb that can be controlled from a smartphone. This got me thinking…

What happens when hackers take control? Could they turn people’s lives upside down? Or could they make life a little more amusing?

Simulate a Haunted House

Hackers could install a speech recognition program, allowing them to arrange to have the lights turn off every time their target spoke. Imagine this conversation:

Target: What’s for dinner? (lights go out)
Friend or Family Member: Turn the lights on so I can see what’s in the fridge.
Target: Okay, lights are on. (lights go out)

You get the picture. No one will believe that this is happening since the hacker controls when it happens.

Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Parents will love this one. When teenagers have their current crush over, the lights stay on as long as people are talking. Once the conversation stops, every light in the room starts blinking red. A program like this could be quite effective as birth control.

Get the Party Started

On the other hand, someone “in the mood for some lovin’” could program the lights to switch to an amorous dim red light when they want to get their partner in the mood. Of course, a down-side could be that passers-by will soon begin to notice the pale red light streaming out of the bedroom and start gossiping.

The future is here and it’s important to be cyber-secure. These wireless light bulbs can help to reduce energy costs and increase the longevity of the bulbs, but you have to make sure that your house is protected from invasion by password protecting your home Wi-Fi network or else things could start getting weird around your house.

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