[SystemSafety] Comment on Risks note on "Smart Power Outlets" (RISKS 29.72)

Mike Ellims michael.ellims at tesco.net
Thu Aug 25 17:35:06 CEST 2016

In summer the radiant heater might be turned off and if the household is as
chaotic as ours can be (think boys in single digit ages) it might get
something stacked on it i.e. a discarded jumper... I lost my old teddy-bear
that way...thankfully mum noticed the smoke before the house burnt down.


From: systemsafety
[mailto:systemsafety-bounces at lists.techfak.uni-bielefeld.de] On Behalf Of
Martyn Thomas
Sent: 25 August 2016 16:06
To: systemsafety at lists.techfak.uni-bielefeld.de
Subject: Re: [SystemSafety] Comment on Risks note on "Smart Power Outlets"
(RISKS 29.72)


On 25/08/2016 12:45, Peter Bernard Ladkin wrote:

AlMac writes "The latest gift of The Internet of Things industry, revealed
last week by
security researchers at Bitdefender, is smart electrical sockets
botnet> that can be
hacked to hand over e-mail credentials, create a botnet,
or (potentially) burn your house down by firing up connected appliances."
Burning your house down by firing up appliances? Electrical safety standards
are not perfect, but
they have been around a long time (in Germany, about 120 years). Indeed, for
about as long as mice
have been gnawing through insulation on cables.

It's not impossible (though culpably stupid) that someone would leave a
radiant heater plugged in somewhere that could cause a fire if it was left
on for a while. The electrical protection might cut in when the fire finally
caused the cable to melt, but it would be too late ...

I expect that inventive readers of this list can find other examples.

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