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The Winner of the IoT Home Inspector Challenge is…

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Internet of Things (IoT) devices have made our lives easier. You can now set your slow cooker to the right temperature while you’re at work. Lightbulbs can be programmed to flick on while you’re away. Even washing machines and garden sprinklers are hyper-connected. But for all of the ease and convenience of these IoT devices, there is a flip side: security risks.

That’s why, this past January, we asked for your help through the IoT Home Inspector Challenge. The contest challenged entrants to develop a tool that would help address security issues caused by out-of-date software in IoT devices. We knew there were innovators out there with big ideas, and you delivered.

The winning entry is…(drumroll please)…a proposal for a mobile app called ‘IoT Watchdog,' developed by Steve Castle. The proposed app would do a few things: scan a person’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth networks to gather a list of IoT devices (since it’s not always clear what fits under the IoT umbrella), flag devices with out-of-date software and other common vulnerabilities, and then give instructions on how to update that device’s software and fix other vulnerabilities.

We’re proud and excited about the promise this proposed app shows – and, at the same time, we know that this is only a piece of the larger security puzzle that comes with the innovative and creative utilities of IoT devices. We recognize the importance of these devices, so we continue to create opportunities to engage in conversations around them – from PrivacyCon 2017 to giving advice on securing your IoT device to this contest.

We believe that solutions to privacy and security concerns can be just as inventive and pioneering as the IoT devices on the market, so we intend to keep this conversation going. We hope you’ll join us.

Note: On July 27, 2017, we edited this post to clarify that the winning entry was a proposal for a mobile app.

Tagged with: cyber security

Comments

Just looked for Iot Watchdog in the Apple store. Don't see it...

Well, congradulation to Steve Castle! I think its great that your all Looking out for security saftey. It seems like there is always Loop holes for information to be leaked out to the wrong people. It is always good to know that there is more tools being invented to upgrade security. Good job to everyone, and Thank You Steve Castle!

Where can we find/download the app?

The IoT Home Inspector Challenge was a competition for ideas about ways to help consumers guard against security vulnerabilities on the Internet of Things (IoT) devices in their homes. Competitors were not required to build the apps or make them publically available, but we hope they and others will develop such tools. For more information on the competition’s rules, please look at the IoT Home Inspector Challenge page.

That is pure awesomeness!

hello
thanks for being resourceful
we live in a fast paced day and age
people connect to people everywhere
sometimes they dont find out until after the fact
maybe the situation turned out to the good the media and the computers, the technology can tap into peoples lives and save them instead of trying to bail out of big mistakes
we all are not perfect we need the other people we need a just and balanced peoples nation and homeland
situations can be worked out but we still need guidelines and regulations! thx again still much work go be done

So, how do we obtain a copy of the software? I'm not seeing that anywhere.....

The IoT Home Inspector Challenge was a competition for ideas about ways to help consumers guard against security vulnerabilities on the Internet of Things (IoT) devices in their homes. Competitors were not required to build the apps or make them publically available, but we hope they and others will develop such tools. For more information about the competition’s rules, please look at the IoT Home Inspector Challenge page.

Thanks for the information.

Congratulations to Steve Castle as well as BJ Black and Michael Birmingham for their contributions to help consumers. How does one contact them or their companies to seek out their services?

I don't find this on the Apple Store. If it's not available on Apple devices, you've missed half of your market.

The IoT Home Inspector Challenge was a competition for ideas about ways to help consumers guard against security vulnerabilities on the Internet of Things (IoT) devices in their homes. Competitors were not required to build the apps or make them publically available, but we hope they and others will develop such tools. For more information on the competition’s rules, please look at the IoT Home Inspector Challenge page.

Where did the funds come from to pay the $3,000/$25,000 that Mr. Castle, BJ Black, & Mr. Birmingham were awarded? If they develop such an app, they should not be allowed to charge a fee to use it or any upgraded to the app. Was this a stipulation in the grant award? Who will monitor this if so? All these people could have afforded to develop their own app without a stipen from Big Brother. Im just saying.

You can read more about the IoT Home Inspector Challenge on the FTC site.

Useful info.

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