Here’s why old, cheap IoT devices should be destroyed, not thrown away

1 Feb 2019

Image: © csearson/

This week in IoT, researchers find that some devices can still do harm after the power is switched off – and all that’s needed is a bit of bin looting.

The world is awash with cheap internet of things (IoT) devices these days as manufacturers attempt to get in on the booming trend, but the quality of build can sometimes leave a lot to be desired.

Now, according to Hackaday, many of these cheap products can come back to haunt you long after you’ve thrown them in the bin. A security researcher found that many cheap smart bulbs are storing a Wi-Fi’s SSID code in plaintext, creating a network security nightmare.

Testing several different bulbs made by different companies, the researcher showed that across the board, they were all totally unencrypted, with one even exposing a private key used to create secure connections with other servers.

Rather than needing to break into a network and obtain the codes that way, all that would be needed is to search through a person’s bin, find one of these bulbs and boot it up. Next time, it might just be easier to smash the bulb to pieces rather than throwing it away whole.

Dublin wearables maker signs major clinical trial deal

Dublin-based Dabl – a developer of blood pressure management and data analysis wearables – will be bringing its technology to a clinical trial as part of a consortium led by the Tyndall National Institute in Cork.

Along with Tyndall, Dabl will share €7.5m to develop intelligent sensors under the €500m Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund established by the Irish Government to stimulate private investment in new technologies.

“Accurate blood pressure measurement, including 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring recognised globally as the gold standard in measuring blood pressure, is essential in clinical management and clinical trials,” said Dabl’s managing director, Bill Rickard.

Fujitsu brings IoT disaster management to Sumatra

Fujitsu has installed a public disaster information system in the North Sumatra region in Indonesia to support rescue and recovery activities as well as quick decision-making when disasters occur.

Employees dispatched to various disaster sites will be able to connect to the Disaster Information Management System and input information about numbers of casualties and damaged structures. They can select from 12 different types of disasters including volcanic eruptions, floods and landslides.

With this data on hand when disasters occur, the North Sumatran Regional Disaster Management Agency will now have the ability to accurately and quickly gather information, which had been an issue in the past. These updates can then be sent via a smartphone app to anyone in the affected vicinity.

Remote patient monitoring revenue to hit €46.1bn by 2023

Returning to the area of remote patient monitoring, Berg Insight reported that the technology behind it reached a value of €17.5bn in 2018. It now predicts that it will have a compound annual growth rate of 21.4pc until 2023, reaching €46.1bn.

Most of these sales will come from connected medical devices, with the new care models of these technologies allowing for patients to live more healthy, active and independent lives. Also, with the advent of GDPR, a patient’s ability to see their own medical records from the devices will become more available.

“Previously, patients have barely been able to access their own health records. This is about to change, and in a few years’ time it will become much easier for patients to not only view their data, but also suggest changes to it and even decide whom to share it with,” said Berg Insight IoT analyst Sebastian Hellström.

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic