Networking

The coffee pot that will destroy your network

Why can't you build a coffee maker that is network enabled that alerts coffee-starved coders when it needs grounds, filters, or water? Well, you can, it's just that people who design coffee makers are really bad at network security. Really, really bad.

Killer coffee potAs a wise man once said, "If you leave the coffee pot low, you fail at life." Thus, engineers (who are largely powered by coffee) are forced to ask the question: If you can create a shared printer that alerts the admin when it needs to be refilled with toner or paper, why can't you build a coffee maker that is network-enabled and alerts coffee-starved coders when it needs grounds, filters, or water?

Well, you can, it's just that people who design coffee makers are really bad at network security. How bad? Enable Windows XP access at the user level bad. As the guys at Security Focus warn us all, that's just the beginning of the trouble this device can cause:

Fun things you can do with a Jura coffee maker: 1. Change the preset coffee settings (make weak or strong coffee) 2. Change the amount of water per cup (say 300ml for a short black) and make a puddle 3. Break it by engineering settings that are not compatible (and making it require a service)

Look, this is once again an issue of overzealous techies over-engineering a solution. If you want to make sure the last guy to drain the coffee pot refills it, throw a hidden Webcam on the darn thing and publicly humiliate the offender. Jeez, has Big Brother taught you nothing?

(Found via Serious Eats.)

About Jay Garmon

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger — amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

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