Spy on your smart home with this open source research tool
By Editor - Sat Apr 13, 5:03 am
Researchers at Princeton University have built a web app that lets you (and them) spy on your smart home devices to see what they’re up to. The open source tool, called IoT Inspector, is available for download here . (Currently it’s Mac OS only, with a wait list for Windows or Linux.) In a blog about the effort the researchers write that their aim is to offer a simple tool for consumers to analyze the network traffic of their Internet connected gizmos. The basic idea is to help people see whether devices such as smart speakers or wi-fi enabled robot vacuum cleaners are sharing their data with third parties. (Or indeed how much snitching their gadgets are doing.) Testing the IoT Inspector tool in their lab the researchers say they found a Chromecast device constantly contacting Google’s servers even when not in active use. A Geeni smart bulb was also found to be constantly communicating with the cloud — sending/receiving traffic via a URL (tuyaus.com) that’s operated by a China-based company with a platform which controls IoT devices. There are other ways to track devices like this — such as setting up a wireless hotspot to sniff IoT traffic using a packet analyzer like WireShark.
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