Home Networking, Home Automation

KRACK Attack Affects Wifi!

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KRACK Attack Affects Wifi!

Researchers warn of a serious flaw in the WPA2 protocol securing all wifi networks-- one allowing attackers to steal passwords, emails and other supposedly encrypted data!

Dubbed Key Reinstallation Attacks (or KRACKs), such attacks even allow those with malicious intent to inject ransomware and malware into a website a user is visiting, all while simply being in range of a vulnerable device. These can be any wifi-capable device, although the flaw is "particularly devastating" in the case of Linux and Android 6.0.

How does KRACK works? As the researchers put it, attackers can duplicate a vulnerable WPA2 network, impersonate the MAC address and change the wifi channel. The fake network acts as a "man in the middle," forcing devices to connect to the rogue network instead of the protected original.

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The Alexa-Controlled Smart Mattress

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The Alexa-Controlled Smart Mattress

Sleep technology company Eight adds further capabilities to its smart mattresses with an Alexa skill allowing one to control such products through Amazon-enabled devices and voice commands.

The "smart sleeping" products currently compatible with Alexa are the Smart Mattress collection and the Smart Mattress Cover. Users can state commands such as "Alexa, warm up the left side of the bed" or "Alexa the bed is too cold" to warm up the bed. In addition one can ask ask "Alexa, how did I sleep last night?" or "Alexa, what's my sleep score" to receive statistics related to their sleeping patterns.

Eight plans to add further Alexa commands later this year for more robust interactions between its products and the virtual assistants. Eight products already feature automation capabilities through If This Then That (IFTTT), but Alexa allows for perhaps simpler integration, not to mention control.

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HomeKit-Enabled Elgato Offerings at IFA 2017

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HomeKit-Enabled Elgato Offerings at IFA 2017

Elgato expands the HomeKit-enabled Eve product family with five accessories at IFA 2017-- the Eve Lock, Eve Window Guard, Eve Smoke, Eve Smoke and the second generation Eve Thermo.

The new generation Eve Thermo smart radiator valve features capacitive touch controls and an integrated temperature display, allowing customers to directly monitor and adjust target temperature. It works right out of the box, with no need for extra bridge device or starter pack, and retains all the Eurotronic control technology found in the previous version.

Meanwhile the Eve Lock automatically secures latches and bolts once the door is locked, ensuring the door is safe at all times. Control comes through either Siri, Home app or Eve companion app, and HomeKit allows remote control in case of visitors. As an smart smoke detector, the Eve Smoke not only sets off a loud, pulsating tone in case of fire, but also sends HomeKit notifications and sets off scenes.

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Fibaro Updates Entry Sensor

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Fibaro Updates Entry Sensor

Fibaro starts shipping the Door/Window Sensor 2-- a Z-Wave Plus-certified smart home device customers can install on any door, window, gate or set of blinds in the home or office.

The Door/Window Sensor 2 connects to either the Fibaro Home Center ecosystem or a Z-Wave hub, and is accessible through companion app on smartphones, tablets or browser. It monitors the status of the door, window, gate or blinds it is connected to, and reports back any change in open/door status, helping avoid theft, break-ins or energy loss if a door is left unintentionally open.

The update also features an internal temperature sensor, allowing it to report abnormal changes in temperature. It also pushes temperature data to the Fibaro energy management dashboard found in the Fibaro desktop app, allowing users to monitor temperature changes, maximise efficiency and reduce energy bills. In addition, a tamper sensor boosts security by alerting the user if someone tries to remove it.

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The HomeKit-Compatible MyQ Home Bridge

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The HomeKit-Compatible MyQ Home Bridge

Chamberlain launches the MyQ Home Bridge-- a means to add HomeKit compatibility to any MyQ garage door opener (without built-in wifi) and lighting products.

Announced back at CES 2017, the MyQ Home Bridge allows customers to control garage doors with Siri, set scenes within the Home app and connect a MyQ garage door opener with other HomeKit-enabled devices. Thus, one can have a smart thermostat or light bulb adjust accordingly whenever the garage door opens or close.

The company also offers a series of MyQ lighting accessories users can connect to HomeKit for control via iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple Watch.

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LightwaveRF Adds HomeKit Compatibility

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LightwaveRF Adds HomeKit Compatibility

British smart home solutions maker LightwaveRF announces it is working on a product range featuring Apple HomeKit compatibility, with offerings including a light dimmer and smart socket.

The products in question are the Generation 2 Link Plus smart hub, Smart Dimmers, Smart Sockets and a Smart Radiator Valve. The Link Plus connects to routers and controls the LightwaveRF smart home system for lighting, heating, power and security. The LightwaveRF system also gets new features, such as built-in energy monitoring, colour-changing status LEDs and wire-free two-way switches.

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BuzzFeed Cooks With Smart Hot Plate

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BuzzFeed Cooks With Smart Hot Plate

BuzzFeed expands its popular Tasty cooking videos in a perhaps unexpected hardware-based direction-- the Tasty One Top is a smart hot plate customers sync with a smartphone app via Bluetooth.

The One Top is a pentagonal device with soft corners. It comes in black or light blue, and features a trio of buttons (two for raising/lowering temperature, one for power) and lights to indicate plate temperature and cooking instructions. To start cooking, customers need to select a recipe from a selection of 1700 found in the companion app, with the One Top chiming and dinging to indicate when to move to the next step.

One can also use the One Top a regular, manual mode to cook whatever they wants, as well as control it remotely via app.

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The Samsung Connect Home Smart Wifi System

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The Samsung Connect Home Smart Wifi System

Samsung combines networking and home automation with the Connect Home Smart Wifi System-- a router packing the Samsung SmartThings platform, eliminating the need for a separate control hub device.

The Connect Home uses Eero-style mesh networking, meaning a single router provides up to 140 square metres of coverage while a combination of three routers covers 418 square metres. In addition, the SmartThings platform allows it to communicate with other devices via Bluetooth 4.1, ZigBee or Z-Wave as well as wifi, providing the control Samsung appliances, Philips Hue lighting and Netgear Arlo cameras, among others.

The system is expandable to up to 5 Connect Home routers, and Samsung promises security comes through both hardware and automatic firmware updates. Setup should be easy via companion Samsung Connect app complete with simplified device management through automatic connectivity and device integration, as well as connected device management, parental controls and guest access.

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Apple Opens HomeKit Development

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Apple Opens HomeKit Development

WWDC 2017 might have been dominated with the announcement of hardware such as the HomePod speaker, but it did host an interesting tidbit involving HomeKit-- the Apple home automation platform is now open for Apple developers.

As Forbes reports, development of HomeKit-compatible devices no longer requires an MFi license. In fact, Apple says one can even develop prototypes using popular developer boards such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino, making it easier to start building HomeKit products. That said, the change relates solely to prototyping, and commercial products will still require MFi certification.

Another HomeKit-related announcement regards security. Future smart home devices will not require the integration of an authentication chip, since authentication has been moved to software-based option. Mind authentication still involves the same hardened encryption as it always has.

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Wemo Bridges HomeKit Support

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Wemo Bridges HomeKit Support

The Wemo home automation portfolio receives HomeKit support through the Wemo Bridge, a device adding control through either Siri or Home app on the iPhone, iPad or Watch.

"Wemo is offering this bridge to address the overwhelming request from customers to make currently installed Wemo products work with HomeKit and other HomeKit compatible products," Belkin says. "We're proud to work with Apple to bring together two of the most influential smart home platforms.  Wemo has been providing smart home devices for more than 5 years, and millions of people use Wemo devices every day.  The Wemo Bridge will allow current and future Wemo users to experience the benefits of HomeKit, including Siri integration and interoperability with other HomeKit devices while also leveraging all the Wemo features customers enjoy."

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Logitech Pop Buttons Get HomeKit

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Logitech Pop Buttons Get HomeKit

Logitech announces an Apple HomeKit upgrade for the Pop Smart Button-- allowing users to control more devices and any number of home automation scenes with the press of a button.

The Pop buttons feature 3 control gestures, and connect to devices via bridge device able to pair with an "unlimited" number of buttons. As for HomeKit, one simply needs to pair the bridge with the Apple Home app before configuring required scenes. The company adds Pop buttons are compatible with non-HomeKit devices, such as Sonos wireless music systems, Osram lighting, Hunter Douglas and Lutron blinds, and more via companion Pop app.

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