Smart toilet security flaw could result in nasty surprise(s) for users

smart toilet security flaw satis

It’s probably fair to say that the worst thing that can happen while you’re on the toilet going through the motions is discovering there’s no paper in the holder at the very moment you go to reach for it. Whether the solution is a desperate cry for help, an awkward waddle to the closet for a new roll or the creative use of one of your socks probably comes down to a combination of your location and personality, but thankfully it’s a problem which can usually be overcome without too much difficulty, if not a little embarrassment.

However, it seems that owners of a high-tech Satis toilet from LIXIL now have something else to worry about. You see, according to software security firm Trustwave, the super-advanced smart toilet can be hacked. That’s right, malicious attackers could take control of your cutting-edge crapper and get it to do just about anything, and possibly at the most inconvenient of moments.

satis toilet

According to Trustwave’s Daniel Crowley, at the center of the security vulnerability is the accompanying My Satis Android app, which communicates with the toilet using Bluetooth, enabling the user to operate its various functions using a handset or tablet.

“The My Satis Android application has a hard-coded Bluetooth PIN of 0000,” Crowley explained. “As such, any person using the application can control any Satis toilet.”

Toilet hackers

This means the malicious toilet hacker (does such a person actually exist?) could “cause the toilet to repeatedly flush, raising the water usage and therefore utility cost to its owner.”

They could also take control of the unit’s lid, causing it to unexpectedly and repeatedly open and close, thereby distracting you from the all-important job in hand.

The air-dry function for your undercarriage could also be activated without warning, but possibly worst of all, the “posterior nozzle” water-jet bidet feature could kick into action just when you’re least expecting it, a situation which, as Crowley himself says, could cause “discomfort or distress” to the user. I’d suggest both.

The high-end Japanese-made toilet, which also plays music and deodorizes the bathroom, incorporates a fully automatic flushing action, a heated seat, a massage feature (don’t ask), and “soft lighting”.

Trustwave’s security advisory reveals it has contacted the manufacturer about the vulnerability on three occasions, but has so far heard nothing back.

Emerging Tech

How emotion-tracking A.I. will change computing as we know it

Affectiva is just one of the startups working to create emotion-tracking A.I. that can work out how you're feeling. Here's why this could change the face of computing as we know it.
Gaming

Transform into the ultimate leader with our tips and tricks for Civilization 6

Civilization VI offers both series veterans and total newcomers a lot to chew on from the get-go. Here are some essential starting tips to help you master the game's many intricacies.
Gaming

If we get a Nintendo 64 Classic, it needs to have these games

The Nintendo 64 introduced a long list of top-tier games, but which were the iconic platform's best? From Mario Party to Ocarina of Time to NFL Blitz, check out our picks for the best N64 games.
Product Review

This $295 smartwatch has the Armani name, but not the looks

The Armani Exchange AX Connected smartwatch does everything right. It has strong technical features, a good design, and isn’t over-priced. But is subtle brand name appeal enough to recommend it?
Product Review

4K in home security is finally here, thanks to Arlo’s Ultra UHD smart cam

The 4K home security camera is finally here! Class-leading image clarity and a super-wide field of vision makes Arlo Ultra an early contender for the year’s best smart cam. While there are definite quirks to the device, the device…
Smart Home

Ecobee leverages humor in a heated discussion with climate change skeptics

Ecobee cranked up the heat on climate change doubters. In observance of Earth Day, Ecobee and ad agency DCX released video of a social experiment that tested the effectiveness of humor in easing tension during discussions with skeptics.
Smart Home

Miele stuns with wireless probe, self-descaling java pot, and other new products

Miele rocked KBIS 2019 with waves of new appliances and features. The annual Kitchen and Bathroom Industry Show is all about product launches and Miele's appliance reveal was like New York Fashion Week with a single designer.
Deals

Shark, Ecovacs, and Roomba robot vacuums get price cuts for spring

The weather's getting nice again, and we're all emerging from our winter-long hibernation. So it's time once again to also start on that spring cleaning you've been putting off. But who really wants to clean when you'd rather be outside? We…
Smart Home

Echo Plus (1st-gen) vs. Echo Plus (2nd-gen): How exactly do they compare?

Which Echo Plus should you buy? This guide compares the first-generation Echo Plus its latest successor, allowing you to get a better idea regarding the ins and outs of each device.
Smart Home

Making hard-boiled eggs isn’t hard — here’s how to do it perfectly every time

With the help of science or some kitchen gadgets, making hard-boiled eggs can be a little easier. It may not be the hardest task in the world, but a few of these methods are foolproof.
Deals

Amazon and Best Buy smash prices on August smart home security locks

Amazon and Best Buy have the lowest prices for two August smart home door locks during a limited time sale. August was one of the first smart door lock companies designed specifically for smart home convenience and security.
Deals

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Smart Home

Get baked while you bake with these clever cannabis cooking gadgets

Ready to step up your edibles game? Here are the best cannabis cooking gadgets for your kitchen, from an "Instant Pot" for your cannabutter to the best grinders and decarbing devices on the market. Check out the full list for more.
News

This hybrid tiny home sauna gives hotbox a whole new meaning

Tiny homes seem to come in all shapes and forms these days, and Igluhuts are no exception. While the homes look more like a hobbit might come out of one on the outside, inside, there's a modern and sleek look aimed at relaxation and…