Drone Attacks Hack Smart Lightbulbs

 

Hackers have recently used a drone to target a set of Philips light bulbs in an office tower, infecting the bulbs with a virus that let the attackers turn the lights on and off, and flash an “SOS” message in Morse code.

 

The attack relied on a weakness in a common wireless radio protocol called ZigBee that Philips (PHG, -0.85%) uses to make its Hue light bulbs part of an online network. The revelation comes at a time of growing concern over how the so-called Internet of things, in which ordinary devices are controlled via an online network, can turn hostile. ZigBee contains a flaw that can allow hackers to infect a lightbulb with a virus, which then spreads to other bulbs in the network. A video (shown above) of a drone with a USB stick hovers near Philips light bulbs in order to take control of them, and forces them to blink on and off.

 

Philips was alerted to the vulnerability and a patch was issued, but future hacking in this digital age of “smart” items is simply inevitable.

 

sources: fortune, theverge