August 5, 2013

"A luxury toilet controlled by a smartphone app is vulnerable to attack, according to security experts."

"An attacker could simply download the My Satis application and use it to cause the toilet to repeatedly flush, raising the water usage and therefore utility cost to its owner.... Attackers could [also] cause the unit to unexpectedly open/close the lid, activate bidet or air-dry functions, causing discomfort or distress to [the] user."

So the toilet is not just vulnerable to attack. The toilet can itself attack.

The article, at BBC.com quotes a security expert named Graham Cluley saying "it's hard to imagine how serious hardened cybercriminals would be interested in this security hole." Cluley is a sly one with the double entendre. BBC needs to get a clue(ly).

Anyway, I'm picturing a future where all the things in the house come alive, seemingly with a mind of their own. I'm picturing Tommy Toilet.

It's hard to imagine anyone coming after you through your toilet, but that only amplifies the creepiness of anyone who would.

And what's "Satis" supposed to mean? Short for "satisfaction"? A reference to the cult of deification of the floods of the Nile River in Egyptian mythology? A reference to the home of Miss Havisham, the extremely disappointed rich lady in "Great Expectations"? Oddly, all 3 of those things seem to make sense with respect to the fancy schmancy toilet.
Pip: 'Is Manor House the name of this house, miss?'
Est.: 'One of its names, boy.'
Pip.: 'It has more than one, then, miss?'
Est.: 'One more. Its other name was Satis; which is Greek, or Latin, or Hebrew, or all three—or all one to me—for enough.'
Pip: 'Enough House,' said I; 'that's a curious name, miss.'
Est.: 'Yes,' she replied; 'but it meant more than it said. It meant, when it was given, that whoever had this house, could want nothing else. They must have been easily satisfied in those days, I should think. [...]'
 Tommy Toilet sez, "Had enough?"

14 comments:

Alexander said...

"Satis" is Latin for "enough." Which also makes a kind of sense, if you've had enough to eat...

Deirdre Mundy said...

You could really mess up a competing CEO, for example, if you started targeting the toilets in his house right after the preschooler had potty trained--- triggering regression, which, in turn, would trigger intense family discord, which would undermine his job performance.

Actually, this seems like a great idea for industrial espionage-- hurt your opponents through 'pranks' which limit their ability to function at work. Reduce the quality of their sleep, their eating, their toilet time.

You wouldn't even have to go totally over the top... just make EVERY SINGLE THING glitchy and annoying, so that there was never a break and it slowly wore them down.....

The Elder said...

So . . . a hack could attack your crack?

Bob Boyd said...

Have you ever seen "Potty Mouth" or "Potty Mouth II, The Ass Chewing"?

Low budget movies, but pretty scary.
They stole the Jaws theme tho.

Indigo Red said...

If only there were a way to flush manually...

Craig said...

I read all of Great Expectations, most of it in the bathtub. It was the only way I could get the soot out of my pores.

SJ said...

There's a science-fiction book titled Rule 34 (by a guy named Charles Stross) in which a spammer is attacked by the networked items in his bathroom.

The spammer dies...

In most cases, a hacker attacking house appliances sounds annoying. Like the hacker who defaced the public-facing webpage of the CIA, renaming it the "Central Stupidity Agency".

But a hacker who can get the items in your bathroom (or kitchen) to do strange things is also gaining the ability to harm you. Not by running up your bills, but by causing the house appliances to do unexpected things at unexpected times.

Makes me wonder if I want to network any of the appliances in my house...

raf said...

"it's hard to imagine how serious hardened cybercriminals would be interested in this security hole."

But oh so easy to imagine a teenaged hacker giggling in the background.

cubanbob said...

Yet another thing to add to the list of the potential parade of horribles. Perhaps something's should stay retro.

whswhs said...

Robert Heinlein had a computer-controlled toilet attack as part of a campaign of harassment against the Warden of the lunar prison colony in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.

Seeing Red said...

Or it could continually run and cause widespread water damage.

Peter said...

Stuff like this gives me a new appreciation for simple, unconnected appliances that may be lacking in features, but they do what they do very well.

John said...

I am not going near any toilet that has an ATRS (automatic tampon removal system)

John Henry

Michael Deloatch said...

One, even though I read GE 35 years ago, I still have the hots for Estella. I too immediately thought of Satis house when I saw this news piece.

Two, this is going to make for a lot of future business for Freudian analysts. I was hard enough to potty train. If it had actually come after me, I am sure I would be wearing depends to this day.