There was some excitement when it seemed that 100.000 "smart" devices had been corralled into a botnet used for sending spam. While Ars Technica says there’s more (or less) to that story, I think the situation is both worse and better than reported.

Bad first: of course those devices are vulnerable! Think: once we get past the early adopters, these things are going to be in the hands of people running unpatched Windows XP, who want to call the fire brigade if you mention firewalls, and whose oven (or their VCR, heaven help us) has been blinking 12:00 since it was installed.

The manufacturers will also stop updating the things after about two months of shelf life. Most of the apps on my four-year-old "smart" TV no longer work, to the point that I never even bothered connecting it to the net when we moved house. I threw out a Skype phone because it was never updated for Windows 7, never mind any other platform. And I could go on...

Even after we have accounted for incompetence and laziness, there’s always malice. What happens if the low-powered smart devices that are going to be running the Internet of Things are actually hiding out inside other Things?

We’re doomed, then? The Internet of Things will actually be an Internet of (Even More) Spam?


Well, smeg.1

Well, no. Most of these smart devices will never be connected to the internet in the first place, because the owners won’t be bothered to do it. They will just keep using the TV as a TV and the fridge as a fridge, without worrying about the extra feeping creatures.

Saved by sloth. Result.

  1. Smeg