Hackers Infect Cameras, DVRs to Pull off Massive Internet Breach

With the internet becoming integral to just about everything in our lives, building owners are connecting their buildings and machines – the Internet of Things (IoT).  With this, is a mad rush by vendors, big and small to launch wireless products.  Unfortunately, almost all of them are doing it wrong. Google’s Nest, EcoBee, enOcean and Daintree offer wireless thermostats and lighting controls.  But, they are utilizing the customer’s own WiFi network which opens up significant risk for both the customer and the installer.

How much risk?  A lot….  On September 30th, hackers took control of WiFi connected security cameras and video recorders to launch one of the biggest Internet attacks in history. The unprecedented attack raised serious questions about how the Internet will cope with a flood of connected and vulnerable devices expected to come online in the next few years.  Read more…

As if the privacy risk alone wasn’t bad enough, using the customer’s WiFi can even be in direct violation of U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) laws.

Enter Fácil.  At the backbone of its deep energy savings capabilities is the inherently secure wireless controls platform.  Like others, it uses wireless switches and thermostats to connect to control relays wired to light fixtures and a/c units.  It then mashes up data points like usage trends, occupancy, external environmental data and more to learn and make management really easy (fácil).  But the big difference is in the security and cost.  The communications and internals are vastly more secure than others.  Communications are completely separate and do not conflict with the crowded and vulnerable 802.11 WiFi band.  The communications chipsets have patented security unlike others.  Without getting extremely technical, it’s kind of like comparing modern smart chip credit cards (that initiate a new dynamic ID every transaction) to old static magnetic strips (that can easily be duplicated and spoofed again and again).

One of the best parts is that being wireless (and highly secure) actually has many advantages over even wired solutions.  First and foremost,  install (cap-ex) costs are cut by 70% compared to wired and 30% – 50% compared to semi-wireless offerings flooding the market.  Second, Renovation costs are almost insignificant.  With the rise of flexible office space, it’s becoming a necessity to have wireless in order to compete.  Third, If your wired system is connected to WiFi such as at EcoBee of other big box thermostats – think again.  Your network security is only as good as your weakest link.

So, whatever you do, just make darn sure your IT manager is up to speed on compliance and signs off on your controls upgrades, confirming they meet the highest security standards”.  Just ask the giant retailer, “Target” how hard that lesson was to learn…


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