back to article Connected kettles boil over, spill Wi-Fi passwords over London

A security man has mapped and hacked insecure connected kettles across London, proving they can leak WiFi passwords. The iKettle is designed to save users precious seconds spent waiting for water to boil by allowing the kitchen staple to be turned on using a smartphone app. Pen Test Partners bod Ken Munro says hackers can …

  1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Just take it back to the shop saying that it is leaking

    I am old enough to remember how the Goblin Teasmade was supposed to revolutionise society.

    My thoughts were that the effort saved was more than offset by the amount of effort involved in making sure that the device was kept hygienically spotless.

    With the current ikettle, surely there's not much point in the facility for boiling a kettle if it doesn't have enough water in it to start with, which means planning ahead to fill it with water beforehand.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Just take it back to the shop saying that it is leaking

      Ah yes, I remember those, although I always managed to avoid owning one.

      Always thought that having this monstrosity sat just beside your bed at head level, steaming, gurgling and spitting hot water around the place was a damn fine way to ensure that you quickly got out of your pit so as to get yourself away from it before you ended up with 3rd degree burns.

      Not to mention the one my parents had, which also had a built-in alarm and light, leading not only to the steaming and gurgling, but to a steaming gurgling spitting device that you specifically had to whack to turn off the alarm, thus risking even more scalding hot water flying around and general contact burns to your hands.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Just take it back to the shop saying that it is leaking

      there's not much point in the facility for boiling a kettle if it doesn't have enough water in it to start with

      And if it isn't freshly-drawn water the tea will taste crap.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Just take it back to the shop saying that it is leaking

        "And if it isn't freshly-drawn water the tea will taste crap."

        Why? Does water go off?

        1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Why? Does water go off?

          Depends how long you leave it.

          http://www.diganddemo.com/Portals/103423/images/poolwestnile%20copy.png

          Boiling the same water several times must also affect its mineral content in ways that are detrimental to what your palate is used to.

          1. BasicChimpTheory

            Re: Why? Does water go off?

            Worth pointing out that the vast majority use teabags anyway so the entire discussion is somewhat moot.

            The fresh (cold, must be drawn cold) water and loose leaf tea does make my gold-plated LAN cable sound better though.

            1. Sooty

              Re: Why? Does water go off?

              A teasmade is not that different to my "Bean to cup" coffee maker, fill the hopper with beans, fill the tank with water, set the timer and it will have a fresh pot of coffee ready when you wake up.

              You'd have to be insane to put it on your bedside table, although the grinder would certainly wake you up.

              1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

                Re: Why? Does water go off?

                IoT: Non-starter until we have C3P0 & R2D2 for full service levels.

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Why? Does water go off?

            Depends how long you leave it.

            http://www.diganddemo.com/Portals/103423/images/poolwestnile%20copy.png

            LOL at that.

            Boiling the same water several times must also affect its mineral content in ways that are detrimental to what your palate is used to.

            I wasn't really thinking about multiple boils, more that it's just sitting in the pipe or just sitting in the kettle and how little difference that could make. If you are in an area where the chlorination is detectable, leaving it standing in the kettle will outgas the chlorine. Maybe boiling it "fresh" will too.

            But, since you mention multiple boils of the water, I wonder if that really makes any difference? And if it does, does it matter where the water came from in the first place? Many years ago our local water came from an underground reservoir and was "hard", ie from under the limestone hills These days it comes from a stonking great man made reservoir filled by rain and whatever is picked up as it runs on/over/under the ground to get there but is not hard. No kettle fur here any more.

    3. boltar Silver badge

      Re: Just take it back to the shop saying that it is leaking

      "if it doesn't have enough water in it to start with, which means planning ahead to fill it with water beforehand."

      Plus once you've been informed your kettle is boiled you're still going to have to get off your arse to pour it. Unless you have an iButler to do that for you.

      Talk about technology for its own sake. This really takes the rich tea biscuit.

      1. Just Enough

        Re: Just take it back to the shop saying that it is leaking

        "This really takes the rich tea biscuit."

        The really tech savvy already have iBiscuit installed with the RichTea extension. It takes the biscuit for you, and dunks it to the required depth.

        This place needs a cup of tea icon.

    4. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Just take it back to the shop saying that it is leaking

      They're still selling Teasmades and Goblin is looking at cracking the North American market.

      We had a very early model years ago; it actually worked quite well for what it was. Obviously you didn't put it anywhere near the bed, it was both an automatic tea maker and an industrial accident generating machine. The newer ones appear to be almost safe to have at one's bedside. I'm just not sure that a 400ml teapot is going to be large enough to start two people of a morning. They're also a hassle to set up and so on but you typically own one because its an object d'art, they go with the plaster ducks and brass pictures, plastic covers on the sofas and so on.

      (Anyway, I'm retired, more or less, so I don't see the point in having an alarm clock.)(Or rather, using one of the things.)

      (I'm still trying to figure out why anyone would want a WiFi enabled kettle or coffee machine.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just take it back to the shop saying that it is leaking

        They're still selling Teasmades

        Back in the 80's I remember our residential training college having them in the student rooms. I suppose the idea was that the combination of an alarm that could wake the dead, and a cup of builder-strength tea, would get even the laziest students awake and out of bed in time for the first lecture of the day.

  2. Mage Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Which has more stupidity?

    The companies selling or the people buying

    1. petur
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Which has more stupidity?

      Downvoted because within a few years you won't find any gear without it anymore, so stand on the side and laugh and ignore how this crap slowly creeps into all our devices

      1. AMBxx Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Which has more stupidity?

        I really hate to admit it, but I have a horrible feeling you're right. There are plenty of out of the box chips used in electronics. Once it becomes standard for them to have wifi, it costs nothing for a manufacturer to add a wizzy new feature.

        Mines the kettle wrapped in silver foil.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

          Re: Which has more stupidity?

          Just because it may be internet-capable doesn't mean you actually have to connect it.

          I'm sure even the most ardent Shoreditch IoT TNT (to borrow Dabbsie's terminology) wouldn't product a device that could only be controlled by an app rather than the old fashioned way, by hand?

          Or am I being horribly ancient and naïve here?

          1. Simon Harris Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Which has more stupidity?

            "Just because it may be internet-capable doesn't mean you actually have to connect it."

            Companies employing remote workers will probably demand that they use connected kettles, just so the boss can check up on the number of tea breaks they're taking.

            At least beer cans don't have an internet connection ----------------------------->

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Which has more stupidity?

              At least beer cans don't have an internet connection -- Yet!

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Which has more stupidity?

              "At least beer cans don't have an internet connection "

              The fridge was the first household device to be internet connected. That will come as part of the mandatory electronics to allow the electricity company to shut it down as part of their dynamic supply regulation.

            3. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. asdf Silver badge

            Re: Which has more stupidity?

            >Just because it may be internet-capable doesn't mean you actually have to connect it.

            Keep thinking companies will let that stop them from data mining you. You are already getting data mined if you have a newish car and you take it into the dealer (through both black box and often GPS/Navigation system). It won't be long until your shit will be connected to data networks whether you like it or not (at least in the US). Guess its time to get to work on those Faraday cages.

        2. chivo243 Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: Which has more stupidity?

          @AMBxx

          Maybe iFixit can do a tear down of these lovely devices and show us where the wire cutter goes to disable this crap. Or where the chip that needs "disabling" might reside.

          I get the feeling our houses will begin to look a bit like Sam Lowry's house. Time for Harry Tuttle? I'm beginning to think so...

        3. h4rm0ny

          Re: Which has more stupidity?

          For an example, look at televisions. All I want from it is a good quality display and reliability. If I want to watch YouTube on it or Skype, I will connect one of my devices that does those things. UNIX philosophy - do one thing and do it well.

          Except that I can't find any modern TVs that are like that. Everyone of them comes loaded with an OS and a pile of software that I don't trust to be patched and kept up to date now, let alone two or three years from now. The manufacturers have all decided that Skype / YouTube / FireFox v.27 is the vital market differentiator without which their product will sink like a stone.

          As a consequence, if I want to get a 4K display right now, I have to buy something that three years from now is going to be a complete liability. And to the poster that says "just don't connect it", that gets harder every year as the manufacturers WANT to make it harder to not connect by tying as much functionality into connectivity as possible. That way they can "add value" and get your data.

          1. Laura Kerr
            Thumb Up

            Re: Which has more stupidity?

            Y'know, I see a business opportunity here - refurbishing and hoarding dumb devices against the day when (or, admittedly, IF) the great unwashed finally get fed up of crapware-riddled shinies that demand two cows and your first-born son to even let you switch them on. I guess the biggest risk is whether that day will ever come; I'm not sure I'd bet the farm on it.

            In the meantime, I'll just continue with my Luddite ways - no idiot lantern, analogue radio, downloaded and ripped music, dead-tree books and read-only offline snap-shots of interesting web pages before they get, er, 'corrected'.

            Just call me No 48. I won't wear, acknowledge or respond to it though.

      2. Charles Manning

        Re: Which has more stupidity?

        " because within a few years you won't find any gear without it anymore"

        Probably not true for low-level devices like toasters and kettles.

        Likely true for high end devices like fridges and washers.

        Still, companies will respond to pushback because if enough people say no they will be seen as a market opportunity.

        Here in NZ, almost all the banks started pushing the NFC payment pay-wave stuff. For a while you could not get a non-NFC credit card. Then people started switching banks and pretty soon it became an option.

        That's how the free market works.... enough people demand the old manual kettle and it will keep being available.

        1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Probably not true for low-level devices like toasters and kettles.

          The thing about "low level" devices is that the typical developer will see them as an ideal target because they are "stand alone". (Aside from the issue of feeding them with raw materials). For instance I'm sure some benevolent organisations will grant money to developers who have ideas to make life easier for people with disabilities.

          Expect to see lots of examples of such portable things at next year's Ideal Home Show - the ideal place for suppliers to get spur of the moment sales, and for buyers to think wtf was I thinking of when I bought this?

          The idea of using toast as a canvas for weather forecasts and QR codes (mentioned earlier) sounds like a good one for developers to exploit. (What is it about toast that inspires geeks? Who remembers the screen saver?).

        2. asdf Silver badge

          Re: Which has more stupidity?

          >That's how the free market works....

          Until a company makes enough money to lobby to get the laws changed in the name of safety (all devices must have ability to call fire department) and it just happens to benefit the original company as well.

    2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      Re: Which has more stupidity?

      Both?

      This is one of the reasons I decided to upgrade my home WI-FI to something more commercial grade where I can create multiple SSIDs and put the insecure stuff on a separate SSID and it will not have any ability to impact the rest of my network.

      Also I can set up alerts to see who connects to that network... as well as limit the connections to a white list. (So you can see the network, learn the password, but can't easily connect to the network. )

    3. TimeMaster T

      Re: Which has more stupidity?

      "The companies selling or the people buying"

      I would have to say the people.

      Which group is laughing all the way to the bank?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    "...it’s trivially easy for hackers to find your house and take over your kettle"

    OMFG I'm doomed!!!

    Nah. Being a legacy sort of bloke, my kettle is, and always will be, analogue.

    1. vaguearoundtheedges

      Re: "...it’s trivially easy for hackers to find your house and take over your kettle"

      I have a digital kettle. Mine's either on or off.

      1. maffski

        Re: "...it’s trivially easy for hackers to find your house and take over your kettle"

        .I have a digital kettle. Mine's either on or off.

        And mine's smartphone enabled. Admittedly I sometimes need three or four smartphones before I manage to hit the switch but there's plenty of ammo in the office.

      2. Uffish

        Re: "...it’s trivially easy for hackers to find your house and take over your kettle"

        I've got a copy of Schroedinger's old kettle, its both on or off until you make a cup of tea - and then you find out.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IoT devices leaking passwords et-al.

    This was inevitable and it's only going to get worse.

    Why the fuck does a kettle need a connection to the internet. Or your fridge, vacuum, washing machine, Why? WHY??

    1. boltar Silver badge

      Re: IoT devices leaking passwords et-al.

      "Why the fuck does a kettle need a connection to the internet. Or your fridge, vacuum, washing machine, Why? WHY??"

      Because a bunch of social inept 20 somethings who don't get out enough and frankly need to get laid, think its cool to have everything connected regardless of whether the functionality of the device would benefit in the slightest from having network connectivity. I suspect with a kettle you physically need to fill and pour anyway so need to be close by, the answer to that is no. Though I do wonder if the people who signed off on this actually knew what a kettle does - probably mummy makes all their tea for them.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: IoT devices leaking passwords et-al.

        "Though I do wonder if the people who signed off on this actually knew what a kettle does"

        Yes but yes but yes but yes but........

        ...no. You're right. Somebody has to be there to fill it and pour it.

        So, um, I'm having trouble coming up with even one business-plan-viable reason for why this product exists.

        1. TeeCee Gold badge
          Facepalm

          Re: IoT devices leaking passwords et-al.

          If it's connected, you can put an "i" in front of its name.

          If you put an "i" in front of its name, the iSheep will buy it.

          The iSheep are a large group who are happy to pay twice as much as something's actually worth for a version with an "i" in front of its name.

          So by merely changing your product into an iProduct by adding some cheap, off-the-shelf electronics, its value is doubled.

          (Just checked. iKettles seem to be about 80 quid for a very ordinary, stainless steel kettle. About 30 quid's worth without the "i". I'll bet the additional circuit board cost them all of 50p too.....)

      2. pogul

        Re: IoT devices leaking passwords et-al.

        "Because a bunch of social inept 20 somethings who don't get out enough and frankly need to get laid" -- wow, that's seems a bit unnecessary.

        I don't know what the product managers (and management in general) are like at the place you work at, but where I work the people who get to make these sorts of decisions are my age (40+). I don't think this is something you can blame on the younger generation. We make software, NOT kettles by the way!

    2. Andy Landy

      Re: IoT devices leaking passwords et-al.

      why? because you can. nothing new here, i remember fingering coke.elab.cs.cmu.edu back in the early 90's :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IoT devices leaking passwords et-al.

        I recall a vax.mcmurdo.gov which was fun to ping because of its location. Sadly no longer around :)

    3. TheDillinquent
      Facepalm

      Re: IoT devices leaking passwords et-al.

      >>>"Why the fuck does a kettle need a connection to the internet. Or your fridge, vacuum, washing machine, Why? WHY??"

      For the same reason that dogs lick their bollocks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IoT devices leaking passwords et-al.

        "For the same reason that dogs lick their bollocks."

        What, to get the taste of pedigree chum out of their mouths?

    4. Old Used Programmer

      Re: IoT devices leaking passwords et-al.

      ...so they can talk to each other when you're not there and they're all bored.

    5. BasicChimpTheory

      Re: IoT devices leaking passwords et-al.

      "Why the fuck does a kettle need a connection to the internet. Or your fridge, vacuum, washing machine, Why? WHY??"

      I hate to be "that guy" but these things don't have a connection to the internet. The app only works on-network.

      Now, more interesting will be when these types of device become proper commodities and it is worth the exposure for mass-market manufacturers to start including software capable of dialing home.

  5. abedarts

    Nobody NEEDS a connected kettle...

    ...but neither does anybody NEED to read el reg on their connected laptop or phone. That doesn't mean that some people won't see perceived benefits in having one - maybe they can set it going from the bathroom while they are getting ready in the morning, I don't know.

    As a designer, if the cost of the components required for internet connection is low enough, why not build them into your latest mouse trap.

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Nobody NEEDS a connected kettle...

      As a designer, if the cost of the components required for internet connection is low enough, why not build them into your latest mouse trap.

      1) Because form should follow function, 2) if it introduces more problems than it solves, then it cannot be justified and should not be tolerated, and 3) because it is inelegant.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nobody NEEDS a connected kettle...

        "why not build them into your latest mouse trap."

        You can buy an electric mouse killer that actually has the ability to tell you via email/sms/ it has caught a rodent..

        Because actually looking (as you legally have to) is too difficult...

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Nobody NEEDS a connected kettle...

      Marketing speak says that you MUST, repeat MUST go out and buy a new connected kettle TODAY!

      How else will you be able to boast about it to your friends on the internet from your Mom's basement? (ok, I'm kidding a bit here)

      Even if every kettle on the market comes with a Wi-Fi connection actually configuring it to use your Wi-Fi router is another thing. An kettle of mine that has this feature can go whistle (wot boiling kettler are supposed to do ok!) until the cows come home before I let it connect to the internet.

      Before you know it you will receive emails from the manufacturer saying

      "I'm sorry Dave you have been using your kettle too much. Unless you pay us another £100 to unlock the device it will now take 20 minutes to come to the boil rather than two."

      Or words to that effect heralding the advent of User CALS for domestic appliances.

      Sorry, no no no no no no no no no and NO.

      1. Wensleydale Cheese
        Unhappy

        User CALS for domestic appliances

        Yep.

        This is what it's about.

        The Sirrus Corporation becomes a reality.

      2. Sureo

        Re: Nobody NEEDS a connected kettle...

        iKettle Security Update KB3035583 installed......

      3. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: Nobody NEEDS a connected kettle...

        "Before you know it you will receive emails from the manufacturer... "

        I understand the dread from the part of the savvy user/consumer of having bits of kit accessible from the internet, even more so if they can autonomously connect 'home'. However there can be reasons to connect bits of kit around the home so that they can talk to each other. Maybe I want to control some consumption patterns myself instead of having the electric company throttle usage for me. Maybe for some people it's just cool to be able to put the kettle on remotely, what's wrong with toys and having a bit of fun?

        Seems to me that a key piece of technology in the future is going to be a powerful and easily configurable home router. If people (especially younger ones who have grown up with always-on connectivity) are willing to control their kettles and fridges from their smartphone, they will also be both willing and capable to play around with their routers. All it would need is simply to identify every connected device and group them into devices that either can or cannot connect to the wider internet. Anything that needed connecting to from outside the home could be accessed securely through a properly configured VPN.

        As far as I know it's already possible to get routers with inbuilt VPNs, the router I have at home already gives me a pretty good visibility of what's going on on the network if I can be bothered to look.

        Maybe something for school's IT curriculum should be how to use IT properly, instead of whatever passes for IT teaching these days

        1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: Nobody NEEDS a connected kettle...

          The last thing I want to be doing at 9pm in the evening is to be speaking to a technician in some far-off land because my connected kettle doesn't boil.

          First of all sir, let me say that I can definitely sort out your issue.

          Sir, can you first of all check for me to see if the kettle is properly filled.

          Yes it is

          Ok sir, can you empty it out. Wait 30 seconds, then fill it up again.

          Ok

          Now switch it on.

          What lights do you see on your kettle?

          ...some time later...

          Can you try loading the latest firmware for the kettle please. My coach says that this will definitely fix your issue. Logon to kettlesdirect.com and....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nobody NEEDS a connected kettle...

      Nobody needs a connected kettle, this is true. But a toaster ... that's a different proposition.

      Cast your mind back to 2001, when a design student from Brunel University created a toaster that burned a pattern into your toast depending on the day's weather forecast. It had 3 stencils (for sunny, rainy or cloudy) and it popped the appropriate stencil in front of your toast for the last 20 seconds of its cycle.

      Here's the link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1264205.stm

      I think this proves several things:

      - Toast is brilliant.

      - It goes very well with tea (regardless of kettle type).

      - There are no new ideas.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Nobody NEEDS a connected kettle...

        So the logical extension of that idea would be a 3d printer that could use bread as a medium and could then heat it as required?

        You could probably make QR bread if you really tried :)

      2. thesykes

        Re: Nobody NEEDS a connected kettle...

        A toaster doesn't need an internet connection, unless it's to download a new language pack. Toasters need to talk.

        Would you like some toast?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nobody NEEDS a connected kettle...

          A toaster doesn't need an internet connection, unless it's to download a new language pack. Toasters need to talk.

          Would you like some toast?

          In my house that would be classed as a rhetorical question.

      3. AndyS

        Re: Nobody NEEDS a connected kettle...

        Eventually, the stencils could be changed for a more sophisticated imaging system that might be able to burn weather maps, short text messages and even adverts on to bread.

        Adverts.

        On your toast.

        You know, I thought Delia was old fashioned by her insistence on using a gas grill for her toast. But maybe she's just seen the future (or at least the past's vision of the future).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nobody NEEDS a connected kettle...

          "[...] adverts on to bread [...]"

          Given the souvenirs the faithful buy for the Pope's visits then his Holiness's image on toast would be a sure fire winner. Even one of Jesus Christ himself would find a marketing niche. Transubstantiation could be made more visible.

          For Satanists you could judge the heat to the point where there was real smoke or even flames in their preferred image's outline.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nobody NEEDS a connected kettle...

      abedarts

      You are either a prize troller or prize idiot, obviously you are out of touch with computer security (or lack of).

  6. phy445

    No need for this tech?

    To all the naysayers-think about how we mock the IBM(?) expert who predicted a need for no more than five computers! Who are we to mock the prospect of a future where kettles can be switched on remotely? Although we don't realise it yet, this could be one of those paradigm shifting moments that moves humanity to a higher plane of reality-or not-this is remarkably like the over automated tech that made early 2000AD comics so much fun.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: No need for this tech?

      Switched on remotely?

      Nah. more like 'sorry, you have used all the power allocated to your home today. Please try again tomorrow!'

      i.e. Controlling your ability to use said kettle at times of peak demand. viz end of Corrie or X-Factor.

      Probably better to can those shows IMHO. Ok so I'm not the target market for them but...

    2. Doctor_Wibble
      Trollface

      Re: No need for this tech?

      That's almost as stupid as asking if we need web-enabled cheese.

      How could we possibly live without it?

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: No need for this tech?

        You'd be surprised how much cheese is already web enabled!

        1. Wensleydale Cheese

          Re: No need for this tech?

          Somebody called?

          (see commentardname)

  7. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Well, on Red Dwarf, the toaster was intelligent (compared to todays toasters, not Lister et al.). So we know in 3 million years what things will be like. Can't we just wait til then so it's someone elses problem?

    1. P. Lee Silver badge
      Holmes

      >on Red Dwarf, the toaster was intelligent

      and profoundly irritating. IIRC Lister smashed it because he wanted toast, not an intelligent toaster.

      1. Chris King Silver badge

        Re: >on Red Dwarf, the toaster was intelligent

        Fourteen-pound lump hammer 1 Talkie Toaster 0.

        I'd probably feel the same way, if some "smart" device kept greeting me with a "Howdy Doodly-Doo !!!

    2. Chloe Cresswell

      Not 3 million..

      It's not 3 million years, that's when we meet the toaster.. but it was on the ship before the accident..

      "22nd March 2077" in a clock.. and:

      LISTER: March the twenty-second. That’s what - three weeks before the crew got wiped out. (Stasis Leak)

      So this isn't 3 million years in the future.. it's around 60!

  8. drand
    Coat

    Hot water

    "

    Munro has plotted vulnerable iKettles in London on Google Maps but opted not to disclose it to prevent things boiling over.

    "

    Well He wouldn't want to land himself in hot water, would he?

  9. TheProf
    Happy

    Been there, done that.

    Web connected kettle? Old news.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_Room_coffee_pot

  10. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Munro has plotted vulnerable iKettles in London

    Just wait until the iKettles start plotting against vulnerable Londoners...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good grief ...

    ... a bit of research shows that a common complaint is that poor build quality (and it's £100!) causes the lid fit to deteriorate over time. At this point the kettle boils for several minutes before switching off despite the fact that it has a temperature sensor to allow you to select various lukewarm modes to avoid "burning your tea" (really?) So despite all the electronics (which would seem to allow the function to be a couple of extra lines in the firmware code) it looks like the off-switch is a conventional steam activated affair of the kind that allows current electric kettles to turn your kitchen into a sauna if the lid isn't quite on. This is bad enough on a kettle you switch on yourself, but on one that can be switched on remotely? All that technology and it doesn't have a fail-safe switch-off at 100℃ ...

    1. Alan Mackenzie
      Boffin

      100℃ ??

      100℃ may be a fine cut off point at sea level. Move to a higher altitude, and the atmospheric pressure drops, and with it the boiling point.

      For this idea to work properly, you'd need a barometer built in to the kettle, feeding it's output to the off switch.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: 100℃ ??

        For this idea to work properly, you'd need a barometer built in to the kettle, feeding it's output to the off switch.

        Or if you can tolerate a slight variation in temperature they could use a GPS chip to determine the altitude. In keeping with IoT it will of course offload the GPS calculations to the cloud.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: 100℃ ??

          What? Why a GPS chip and offloading calculations to the cloud? If you're going to do that, why not forget the GPS entirely and just tell the kettle where you are and let it work out the optimal temperature? [good for all American states, defaults to 100C everywhere else!]

          1. AndrueC Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: 100℃ ??

            What? Why a GPS chip and offloading calculations to the cloud?

            Did you miss the joke icon? I was trying a bit of Heath Robinson(*) style IoT thinking. Guess I failed :-/

            (*)Rube Goldberg if you're on the other side of the Atlantic :)

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: 100℃ ??

            "What? Why a GPS chip and offloading calculations to the cloud?"

            Because it's an internet connected kettle so more complexity can only be better, right?

          3. Stoneshop Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: 100℃ ??

            [good for all American states, defaults to 100C everywhere else!]

            Nope.

            a) some US states, as well as countries elsewhere, have regions that are not quite at sea level.

            b) even at sea level, air pressure can and will vary. You don't want to be deprived of a decent cuppa just because a low pressure front is passing through.

      2. Midnight

        Re: 100℃ ??

        "For this idea to work properly, you'd need a barometer built in to the kettle, feeding it's output to the off switch."

        Or, perhaps, it could use the built-in assisted GPS to determine its current location, look up the local weather report on the Internet, and then use that information to determine when the boiling point of water.

        I can't imagine how anyone ever knew that water was boiling before The Internet Of Thingees arrived.

    2. jeffdyer

      Re: Good grief ...

      My wife bought me one for my birthday in June.

      The lid is already warped so that loads of steam comes out of the top, exactly as you describe. I generally hold it down with a wooden spoon to get it to switch off.

      I think I got it to work remotely once - I don't think the Android app at the time could configure the kettle so I had to borrow an iPhone to to set it up. Since then I've rebooted the router and it has not been used remotely since.

  12. jake Silver badge

    What kind of numpty would actually want one of these things?

    I mean, seriously? Fill kettle with cold water, hit the "on" button. Rinse teapot, and heat with hot tap water. While the water in the kettle is coming up to the boil, measure out the tea, get out the milk, eyeball the [e|voice]mail. Water boils, make the tea. Heat cup with extra boiling water. Go pee. By the time you get back from the toilet, you have the perfect cuppa. Works for me, anyway.

    1. zaax

      Re: What kind of numpty would actually want one of these things?

      Looking around it seems quite a few. In our house the problem is who is going to fill it.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: What kind of numpty would actually want one of these things?

        In our house the problem is who is going to fill it.

        Version 2.0 will have a valve in the base, with fittings to hook it into your plumbing so it can fill itself* on demand.

        * or your kitchen floor

    2. Captain Badmouth

      Re: What kind of numpty would actually want one of these things?

      "Rinse teapot, and heat with hot tap water."

      No, heat teapot with steam from the kettle, that way you get the added latent heat when the steam condenses.

      Today's top tip.

  13. 2+2=5 Silver badge

    IoT - Cheap; Secure; Connected

    Choose any two.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IoT - Cheap; Secure; Connected

      This is just one though -- "connected" -- a kettle costing a hundred pounds is hardly cheap.

    2. A. Coatsworth

      Re: IoT - Cheap; Secure; Connected

      IoT is, by definition, Connected.

      News such as this show us that it's never Secure.

      Is it Cheap? I doubt it...

      So, it's more like "choose Connected and let us shaft you in every other front"

  14. John H Woods

    If you want to save time

    one of these would probably be more convenient as well as £30 cheaper. Also the iKettle appears to be only 2.4kW --- have they deliberately reduced its power to extend the boiling time to make the remote switch-on functionality look a little bit more useful?

    1. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Re: If you want to save time

      It's a 'worldwide compatibility' thing. Some areas have 10 amp sockets. 2.4kw at 240v is gonna be within 10 amps at 240v, and given the resistance won't change that much, slightly less at 230 or 220v.

      It's why modern kettles are rarely the 3kw goodness of yore.

      Side note, I wonder if that's why commercial breaks are getting longer, to give the kettle time to boil?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If you want to save time

      Or this one http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/1528976.htm

      Also £100 but can do different temperatures in case your not having straight black "English tea"

      "OneCup Turbo" claims a cuppa's worth of water boiled in a minute.

      Wouldn't touch it with a bargepole myself but strikes me as less likely to let someone borrow your network.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If you want to save time

        ""OneCup Turbo" claims a cuppa's worth of water boiled in a minute."

        A microwave oven can do that too - although it does seem to have superheated bubbles in the water immediately afterwards. Works ok with instant coffee - even filter coffee seems ok.

      2. TheProf

        Re: If you want to save time

        I bought a BOSCH equivalent at Christmas. £30. Brilliant.

      3. dajames Silver badge

        Re: If you want to save time

        http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/1528976.htm

        If you must shop at Argos, I'd rather have this one:

        http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/2275383.htm

        It's a tenth of the price and has all the important features without the pointless crap that just makes it more likely to fail. I used to have a kettle that could do different temperatures but I never used that feature and it confused any guests who tried to use it.

  15. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Meh

    The Internet of things/connected house

    All I can say is: "And so it begins."

  16. frank ly
    Facepalm

    I thought the article heading was humorous sarcasm

    But no, it really exists!

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: I thought the article heading was humorous sarcasm

      Quite, the late lamented DNA goes from being a satirist to being a futurist, and is probably looking down on us either having a quiet laugh or with his head in his hands...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have an "Internet" microwave

    They were being sold off cheap on Ebuyer and I read the details as follows

    Blah Blah, Big Brand, Blah Blah Blah, Stainless Steel, Blah, With built in Grill

    £50

    All these naysayer can save you money, as they turn their noses up at junk internet features they may actually miss the main hardware on offer. It has worked fine for a few years now, never used any of its "digital" features (unless you count the door handle).

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: I have an "Internet" microwave

      My mate used to have an internet connected microwave - it spat out so much RF crap at 2.4GHz that every time he used it the wifi went south.

      I would use the joke icon, except it was real, did just that and his housemates didn't find it funny.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I have an "Internet" microwave

        "[,,,] it spat out so much RF crap at 2.4GHz [..]"

        A nominee for the Darwin Awards - or a dastardly plan to limit population growth.

      2. Captain DaFt

        Re: I have an "Internet" microwave

        Was he making nachos?

  18. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip

    I wonder

    What would happen to the national grid if a bot-net of millions of kettles were to turn on simultaneously?

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: I wonder

      Nothing.

      Happens all the time after popular TV shows anyway. Millions of viewers at the end of Corrie, East Enders, X Factor etc. all firing up the kettle during the ad break (or between programs on Auntie Beeb)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I wonder

        "Nothing.

        Happens all the time after popular TV shows anyway"

        Yes because the National Grid control centres are primed for this and monitor TV shows for exactly this sort of thing (just in case the Strictly finals run over).

        However if this were to happen at say 3am, it would cause all sorts of issues.

        1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: I wonder

          However if this were to happen at say 3am, it would cause all sorts of issues.

          Very true. Didn't occur.

          Good point, well made.

    2. Little Mouse

      Re: I wonder

      It's already happened.

      IIRC the cause was a TV drama called "The Winds of War".

      There was a lot of simultaneous-kettle-action when the credits rolled. It was newsworthy at the time - though I'm not sure if there was any real impact for anyone other than the electric company.

  19. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Didn't see that coming.

    Oh wait, yes I did.

  20. Graham Jordan

    wow

    Imagine how much sex this man isn't having as a result of looking of IoT kettles.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: wow

      Maybe it enables him to find when people are home and bored so he can pop round. Did you think of that?

      Or anything, in fact?

  21. Dabooka Silver badge
    Stop

    The iKettle?

    [Checks date]

    Nope, not the 1st April. Right, how do I get off, I've had enough now.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Arduino wifi

    A remote data logger for a weather station seemed a good Arduino project as the modules are cheap. Wasn't sure how the bulk data would eventually be transferred to the laptop - wifi is now suspectt.

  23. TheRealRoland

    >hacked insecure connected kettles

    I would feel insecure myself as well... Is there a support group for these kettles somewhere? I'm hoping the more secure ones are not afraid of being hacked, then?

  24. hatti

    Challenge

    So if you manage to hack an iKettle, how do you download the caffeine?

    1. dajames Silver badge

      Re: Challenge

      So if you manage to hack an iKettle, how do you download the caffeine?

      It's a kettle, not a coffee pot, it doesn't (shouldn't) contain any caffeine.

      The iPercolator, now, that'd be a different matter.

  25. DougS Silver badge

    Connected kettle with an app is SO stupid

    It shouldn't need an app, it should be smart enough to track your location via your phone and tell when you want a cup of tea.

    But since you need to have known in advance you wanted tea, in order to fill it with water, couldn't you set a timer on it for when you wake up / return home from work and avoid the whole smart kettle business entirely? Thought so.

  26. Terrence Bayrock
    Stop

    Open pod bay doors please HAL ........

    If the designers are not careful (where have we hear THAT phrase before) and through no malicious intent, things can go SNAFU in a hurry.

    Why why why connect everything through the internet? What possible benefit can overarch the negatives?

    Maybe I'm just a repressed Luddite.......

  27. Gannettt

    Check out @internetofshit on Twitter, loads of examples of bullshit internet of things devices, like central heating that won't turn off while firmware is being updated, internet connected trousers, and loads more

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Windows

      Internet connected trousers

      It's the wrong trousers, and they've gone wrong.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      @Gannettt

      Thanks you for that link. I've now found 3 useful things on twitter.

  28. 080

    Just try hacking my kettle

    Just try hacking my kettle, it's copper and sits on top of the wood burner

    1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Just try hacking my kettle

      Shouldn't be too difficult... you've probably got a hatchet hanging up by the woodpile.

  29. Someone Else Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    "If you haven’t configured the kettle, it’s trivially easy for hackers to find your house and take over your kettle," Munro says

    I'm sorry, but I just had to laugh at this. Even in context, it's funny....but out of context, its...well, just see the icon.

  30. ThreadGuy

    This is, without a doubt, the most British thing I have ever heard.

  31. Yugguy

    Connected kettles

    Fuck me.

    I mean fucking fuck me sideways.

  32. jason 7 Silver badge

    Get a proper man kettle!

    One that sits on a gas hob.

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