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© Lead Image © Nelli Valova,

© Lead Image © Nelli Valova,

Article from Issue 228/2019

Flashing IoT devices with new firmware lets you wield control and keep them out of the cloud.

In the age of robotic vacuums, robotic lawn mowers, and mopping robots, I want to add automation and intelligence to my apartment. Just the act of purchasing a smart socket that has an Android app makes this both an easy and a comfortable solution for people wanting to add a touch of home automation to their living space.

However, I am paranoid enough that when devices are in my network, I want to have full control over them. It bothers me that this new functionality comes with the "additional feature" of these devices calling home to a server somewhere on the Internet. I was optimistic that I could achieve my goal of automation but also keep full control over my own devices.

To achieve this control, I was hoping I could purchase a few smart adapters and find one that I could bend to my will. The good news is that the security on each of these devices was good enough that I wasn't able circumvent it with a playback or man-in-the-middle attack, but I didn't actually have any luck gaining complete control of the devices, so I set out to find a way to modify an existing device to achieve my goals.


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