Archive for the ‘Failed things’ Category

Internet of Things, Extra Insecurity Edition

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 by The Director

An Internet of Things software update renders things even more insecure by making door locks work incorrectly:

The failure occurred last Monday when LockState mistakenly sent some 6i lock models a firmware update developed for 7i locks. The update left earlier 6i models unable to be locked and no longer able to receive over-the-air updates. LockState Marketing Manager John Cargile told Ars that the failure hit about 500 locks. The company is offering affected customers one of two options: (1) return the back portion of the lock to LockState so the firmware can be updated, with a turnaround time of about five to seven days, or (2) request a replacement interior lock, with a turnaround time of about 14 to 18 days. In the meantime, customers can use a physical key to unlock doors. (Like most hotel rooms, the doors automatically lock each time they’re closed.)

I haven’t really tested any IoT things yet, and sometimes I wonder if anyone has.

Internet of Things Making Wild Guesses

Thursday, January 7th, 2016 by The Director

Fitbit heart rate tracking is dangerously inaccurate, lawsuit claims:

Fitbit owners from several US states claim that despite the company’s products purporting to accurately measure heart rates, Fitbits “do not and cannot consistently and accurately record wearers’ heart rates during the intense physical activity for which Fitbit expressly markets them”.

One claimant in the class-action lawsuit says that while her personal trainer measured her heart rate at 160 beats per minute, her Fitbit Charge HR recorded a rate of 82 bpm. Another who said his doctor had told him not to exceed 160 bpm found that his Fitbit Surge device was as much as 25 bpm below what other trackers said.

It looks as though the device derives the Beats Per Minute from a different measurement. So although it might be correct in a high percentage of cases, given enough absolute cases, it can have a high number of failures.

It’s like the new saying goes, “Where there’s an algorithm, there’s an error.”

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