A product from a California-based startup claims to able to detect any unusual activity in users’ smart home devices. Dojo Labs’ security "pebble" is designed to protect all smart appliances and other devices from hackers.
The company said the product, called Dojo, acts as an essential layer between smart devices and any threats to the security and privacy behind them. It consists of a network monitoring box that connects via Ethernet cable access to a Wi-Fi router, and a pebble-shaped connected object that can either sit on the router in its plastic indent, or be moved anywhere around the house where users can see it.
The device glows in a series of colors when it detects unusual activity, which can be addressed via an app that comes with the device. An orange ring indicates that the problem has been identified and resolved by the Dojo; and a red ring means a problem has been identified and needs to be fixed.
The user can then block the detected activity with a smartphone or let it pass if the user is aware of the flagged activity, e.g., the user gave the Wi-Fi password to a friend who is accessing the network. When all is well with the smart devices in the home the Dojo will display a green ring, indicating that no threats have been detected.
Tracking Bad URLs
The Dojo will also keep an eye out for URLs at the DNS request level and caution users if they’re about to go to malicious Web sites on their laptops or smartphones when they're on their home networks. The Dojo is a network-based solution, not host-based, so nothing has to be installed on the users' devices.
The device is wireless and runs on batteries. Dojo’s chat app notifies the user only when there’s unusual activity on one of the home devices. Dojo Labs said that the device can get to know a home’s devices by analyzing the metadata streams that pass between devices. It then detects patterns in the behavior of that data, and using that intelligence sets up a perimeter that ensures that nothing malicious gets in and nothing personal gets out. It doesn’t see the content being communicated over a home network.
Available in March
Dojo Labs was founded by a group of security experts and hackers who made it their mission to build a security net around the connected home. More than 4 billion devices are connected to the Internet, most of them in people’s homes, but the quality of those devices’ security is inconsistent, according to the company. The goal of Dojo Labs is to give all devices operating under the umbrella of the Internet of Things an equal, high measure of security.
Security systems devoted to the Internet of Things are becoming more common and more sophisticated. But consumers have resisted adopting the devices because there’s no established standard when it comes to how home devices communicate with each other, creating at least the sense, if not the reality, that IoT devices can never be completely secure.
The $99 Dojo is available for pre-order now, with a planned shipping date of March 8, 2016.