Last week’s internet outage was perhaps more annoyance than threat, but it still got on everyone’s nerves. And it was caused, in part, by our need for all sorts of gadgets, from baby monitors to lightbulbs, to be connected to the internet. And now the first of many recalls has been set off.
The Guardian is reporting that Xiongmai, which makes internet-connected webcams and was a major unwilling participant in last Friday’s botnet attack, is recalling at least some of its products to upgrade their security:
The electronics components firm, which makes parts for surveillance cameras, said in a statement on its official microblog that it would recall some of its earlier products sold in the United States, strengthen password functions and send users a patch for products made before April last year.
Xiongmai claims the biggest problem was users not changing their default password on their devices, which, while it may sound like passing the buck, is sadly extremely credible. People don’t like to change their passwords and don’t like to use strong passwords since they can’t remember them, so like it or not, Xionghai isn’t wrong here.
That said, while it’s the first company to issue a recall, it’s unlikely to be the last. There’s serious concern that last Friday’s internet outage wasn’t so much of an act of internet vandalism as a test of a weaponized tool to shut down the internet. And if it’s a choice between forcing a few recalls and risking the next cyber weapon striking the Developed World, the companies involved will be recalling everything.