By Chris Connell, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky
Smart home technologies have long ceased to be something new or surprising. Today, the idea of smart home appliances or switches isn’t from a cyberpunk scene, but rather an actively emerging reality.
For example, the report from Berg Insight revealed that the number of smart homes in Europe and North America reached 102.6 million in 2020.
What was once a collection of single and separate devices, smart homes are turning into fully-fledged smart systems that can supply coffee on time, adjust the temperature, and monitor the security of your house while you are away. All of this is possible thanks to the digitalization of an increasing number of devices. Kaspersky has developed a list of the most interesting benefits which the modern smart home can provide to become a fully-fledged personal assistant or protector.
Smart home technology can take the safety of your home to the next level. And we aren’t just talking about alarms. Modern cameras, motion sensors, and even smart door locks will help turn your home into a real fortress, and immediately send a message to your smartphone if something happens.
One of the most obvious examples is the installation of a home video surveillance system connected to the internet. Such cameras will work 24/7 and allow owners to look at what is happening anywhere in the house through an app on a smartphone. Sometimes such cameras have a motion sensor – if a camera sees something moving (be it a cat, a dog, or an intruder) it records the file and sends it to the server. Your device then receives a notification so that you can react as quickly as possible and perhaps prevent your property from being broken into.
The smart home has also made it possible to reinvent door locks. In order to secure your home as much as possible, the easiest option is to stop intruders from being able to get through the door. However, modern locks have moved on from being just a mechanism. Today, they can do much more than just prevent intruders from getting inside. For example, they can send you a notification when someone walks in and out, or create access codes for you or those who work in your home (nanny, housekeeper, gardener, etc.).
All of these solutions can turn your house into a high-tech home, but even smart defenses need protection. To ensure your defender has a shield, solutions have been created that help protects not only individual devices from being hacked but the entire IoT ecosystem.
Peace of mind
There are always numerous small things to worry about around the house – have I turned off the iron or closed the door? Who will water the flowers while I am on vacation? Even a small doubt is enough to ruin an evening out with friends or a short vacation with a loved one.
Smart devices can provide much-needed reassurance in such situations. Smart water leak detectors, for example, which react to contact with water, can help you to stay calm and relaxed. Sensors can be installed next to batteries, pipes in the bathroom and in the kitchen. The devices are not only able to monitor the water level, but also determine the level of humidity in the room: if you are suddenly flooded from above, you will know immediately even if you are not at home.
The same situation is true with smart smoke detectors, which can warn of danger before it is too late. If wiring suddenly lights up in the house or an open fire remains burning, the sensor will immediately react.
Another important assistant – a smart socket – will also warn you if you forgot to turn off the iron whilst in a rush. Seeing the notification on your smartphone, you can remotely disconnect the device from the power no matter where you are.
The time has finally come when you can allow yourself to truly relax and leave some of your household duties in the hands of technology. By automating some types of furniture, we can take comfort and health care to a new level.
For example, Eight Sleep has developed a bed equipped with sensors capable of monitoring the user’s sleep quality based on 15 parameters, including the duration of REM and deep sleep phases, and heart rate patterns. This allows you to choose the optimal time for going to bed and waking up.
A smart bed will gently wake up the owner, catching the moment when the body is ready to rise, and create a pleasant morning environment, for example, turn on calm music or a light vibration, turn on the light or start the coffee machine via voice command.
Besides sleep comfort, a smart home can also make cooking much easier, enjoyable and fun. For example, the EYWA Kitchen Smart Screen is a small panel, no larger than a standard wall cabinet door. It easily fits into any kitchen, making it an indispensable helper. It can:
⦁ Find recipes for dishes online;
⦁ Make a list of required ingredients;
⦁ Independently purchase them online;
⦁ Order delivery at a specified time;
⦁ Turn on household appliances and set timers;
⦁ Distract children with a cartoon;
In order to safely use such smart solutions which are integrated into your daily activities (including cooking, shopping, choosing content), you need to ensure the safety of the devices themselves. Otherwise, attackers could get into your home network and gain access to personal data through convenient smart boards or switches.
The first and simplest step may be to change the default device password to a more complex one – but resist the temptation to copy the password from other accounts. If you have lots of devices and are finding it difficult to remember all the passwords, you can use a special solution to protect the ecosystem of the smart home. This will not only keep passwords safe, but also warn you if the password has already been compromised.
In addition to caring for the safety and comfort of home owners, the IoT market seeks to make life easier and better for pets. According to research, the size of the PetTech market in the United States has reached $5.5 billion – this includes connected collars, smart doors, feeders, fences, toys etc.
Some of the most popular smart pet devices are for drinks and feeders. They help to not only control nutrition and prevent overeating, but also allow you to leave pets for a while at home alone, without worrying that your cat is hungry or has knocked over a bowl of water. Of course, in some extreme situations cats can also turn on survival mode – for example, a cat was recently discovered eating cardboard and drinking from a leaking tap for 52 days. However, no owner would like to repeat this scenario for their pet.
If everything is covered with feeding and drinking, what else can manufacturers of smart devices develop to support pet care? How about chatting with your dog?
Start-up FluentPet, has come up with a device for human-dog communication. The device is a panel with buttons labeled with different symbols. With its help, the company seeks to test the hypothesis that animals can express their emotions and desires by clicking on pictures.
Another example is smart animal houses which are designed to improve comfort for pets. They are equipped with intelligent temperature control and environmental sensors that regulate the temperature inside depending on the number of degrees outside. In addition, the houses can monitor the health of the animal, tracking and recording pet activity and sleep data. All of this information can be read from the app in the smartphone in order to timely monitor the health of your pet.
Besides comfort and safety, smart home technologies help make our lives more environmentally friendly by using resources more smartly – for example, using water and electricity in a more rational way.
For example, sensors can turn lights on and off in a room, depending on whether there are people there or not. Another option is smart heating, which will allow you to maintain certain microclimate parameters in each room. For example, if everyone leaves for school and work in the morning, the system can reduce energy consumption and increase it later in the day when everyone is back.
However, in addition to controlling energy consumption, modern smart homes are also able to produce energy. For this, systems for the production of alternative energy are built in – such as solar panels, wind turbines or geothermal installations.
Depending on the location of the building, in some cases, even the energy of water – currents or tides – can be used. As a result, the smart home control center can not only control energy consumption but also monitor its production, as well as rational distribution.
Modern smart homes built from scratch include energy-saving technologies. Heat leakage and CO2 emissions from such buildings are minimal. Smart walls, roofs, and other building elements can inform the owner about their problems: the appearance of moisture or heat leaks. This allows you to promptly correct the defect that has appeared.
In general, the market for smart devices is actively growing and manufacturers of such systems are striving to digitize more and more elements of the house. This not only improves safety and comfort but also benefits the environment. As a result, smart homes are being transformed from a cluster of single, simple devices into true multi-layered digital ecosystems, which also require an appropriate level of protection.
Kaspersky reports more than 340, 000 attacks with new malicious WhatsApp mod
November 20, 2023 8:52 p.m.
Kaspersky researchers recently uncovered a new malicious WhatsApp spy mod, which is now proliferating within another popular messenger, Telegram.
While the modification serves its intended purpose by extending user experience, it also clandestinely harvests personal information from its victims. With an extensive reach surpassing 340,000 in just one month, this malware predominantly targets users who communicate in Arabic and Azeri, though victims have been identified globally.
Users often turn to third-party mods for popular messaging apps to add extra features. However, some of these mods, while enhancing functionality, also come with hidden malware. Kaspersky has identified a new WhatsApp mod offering not only additions like scheduled messages and customizable options, but it also contains a malicious spyware module.
The modified WhatsApp client’s manifest file includes suspicious components (a service and a broadcast receiver) not present in the original version. The receiver initiates a service, launching the spy module when the phone is powered on or charging. Once activated, the malicious implant sends a request with device information to the attacker’s server. This data covers IMEI, phone number, country and network codes, and more. It also transmits the victim’s contacts and account details every five minutes as well as being able to set up microphone recordings and exfiltrate files from external storage.
The malicious version found its way through popular Telegram channels, predominantly targeting Arabic and Azeri speakers, with some of these channels boasting nearly two million subscribers. Kaspersky researchers alerted Telegram about the issue. Kaspersky’s telemetry identified over 340,000 attacks involving this mod in just October. This threat emerged relatively recently, becoming active in mid-August 2023.
Examples of Telegram channels distributing malicious mods
Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Turkey, and Egypt witnessed the highest attack rates. While the preference leans towards Arabic and Azerbaijani-speaking users, it also impacts individuals from the US, Russia, UK, Germany and beyond.
Kaspersky products detect the Trojan with the following verdict Trojan-Spy.AndroidOS.CanesSpy.
“People naturally trust apps from highly followed sources, but fraudsters exploit this trust. The spread of malicious mods through popular third-party platforms highlights the importance of using official IM clients. However, if you need some extra features not presented in the original client, you should consider employing a reputable security solution before installing third-party software, as it will protect your data from being compromised. For robust personal data protection, always download apps from official app stores or official websites,” comments Dmitry Kalinin, security expert at Kaspersky.
To stay safe, Kaspersky experts recommend:
- Use Official Marketplaces: Download apps and software from reputable and official sources. Avoid third-party app stores, as the risk that may host malicious or compromised apps is higher.
- Use reputable security software: Install and maintain reputable antivirus and anti-malware software on your devices. Regularly scan your devices for potential threats and keep your security software up to date. Kaspersky Premium protects its users from known and unknown threats.
- Educate yourself about common scams: Stay informed about the latest cyber threats, techniques, and tactics. Be cautious of unsolicited requests, suspicious offers, or urgent demands for personal or financial information.
- Third-party software from popular sources often comes with zero warranty. Keep in mind that such apps can contain malicious implants, e. g. because of supply chain attacks.
Globe’s next-gen leaders delve into AI and humanity at International Design Conference
October 27, 2023 3:45 p.m.
Globe’s next generation leaders shared invaluable insights on the blend of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the human experience at the 7th International Design Conference, an event that marked the 50th anniversary of the Design Center of the Philippines.
Returning with more disruptive design concepts and an immersive environment that encouraged attendees to rethink limits, the two-day conference, held in cooperation with Globe, unveiled the evolving landscape and transformative potential of design.
Design luminaries and game-changers from the design sector and the Philippine creative economy collaborated to captivate audiences with immersive keynote presentations, provocative fireside chats, inspiring case studies, future-focused visioning, and an industry meet-up.
Globe’s Wil Sarmiento, Director and Head of Customer Lifecycle, and Paolo Toledo, Director and Head of Creatives, stood out with their forward-thinking perspectives. They joined world-renowned personalities such as award-winning design critic and author Alice Rawsthorn, program director of the Danish Design Centre Christina Melander; Sarah ichioka, founding director of Desire Lines; Dr. Anna Whicher, Policy Consultant of the “Making Design Count: The Value and Impact of Design on the Philippine Economy”; and Professor Daniela Bohlinger, Sustainability Design Pioneer.
Sarmiento, delivered a keynote that delved into the future skills in the age of human-machine collaboration, underscoring the potential of a symbiotic relationship that harnesses the strengths of both.
“Being human is the greatest design of all. While technology provides efficient solutions, it simply answers “what’s right” or “what’s needed”. BUT it’s us humans who trigger innovation and purpose. We hold the power to ask “what’s next?” and more importantly, “what for?” he said.
The International Design Conference, with its rich legacy of championing design innovation, is a thought leadership platform that celebrates the intersection of design, business, technology, and policy while thriving at the edge of disciplines to remain provocative and to use design and creativity to ask difficult questions and to take the audience to new territories.
Globe’s design leaders not only contributed to this dialogue but also illuminated the path forward, emphasizing a future where technology and human ingenuity seamlessly converge.
For more information about the International Design Conference and its key takeaways, please visit www.facebook.com/DTI.DesignCenterPH.
To learn more about Globe, go to https://www.globe.com.ph/.
LG honored with multiple awards for Innovative Product Design at IDEA 2023
September 4, 2023 3:11 p.m.
LG Electronics (LG) has once again been recognized for outstanding product design, earning 13 awards at the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) 2023, announced at the International Design Conference in New York, New York.
The LG PuriCare AeroTower, an air purifier that can also be used as a side table and mood lamp, was honored with a Bronze Award at yesterday’s conference. Offering personalized performance and design options, as well as a compact form factor, LG’s air purifier can be tailored to match any home interior and is ideal for smaller spaces. With its latest win, the LG PuriCare AeroTower has now been recognized by all three of the world’s top industrial design award programs: IDEA, the Red Dot Award and iF Design Award.
Another IDEA 2023 honoree, the LG OLED Flex (model LX3) is an innovative TV featuring the world’s first bendable 42-inch OLED screen. The LX3, which made its international debut at IFA last year, offers a new level of screen customizability – its self-lit display able to go from completely flat to spectacularly curved with the push of a button.
“The achievement from this year’s IDEA is the result of the synergy between customer experience-centered technology and aesthetics,” said Hwang Sung-gyul, head of the Design Management Center at LG Electronics. “We will continue to improve the level of perfection by reflecting innovative customer experiences beyond the existing framework in product design by constantly communicating and empathizing with customers.”
Organized annually by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), IDEA is one of the world’s leading design award programs, recognizing exceptional achievements in the area of industrial design while taking into consideration various factors relating to design strategy, digital interaction, the environment, and social impact, when selecting award recipients.
Life’s about more than having the latest technology, rather, it’s about the experiences technology creates that impact our lives. LG Electronics Philippines delivers consumer electronics through top-of-the-line home entertainment appliances that prepare Filipinos for their greatest moments. LG promises to bring “Innovation for a Better Life” nationwide – from Luzon, to Visayas, and Mindanao. LG products are available via lg.com/ph and through its flagship stores in Lazada and Shopee. For more information, visit and follow their social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok and Youtube (@lgphilippines).