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Home Automation Systems Easily Hacked via Power Lines

By Jason Knott
X10 and Z-Wave home automation systems do not support encryption, according to researchers, and can be easily hacked via powerlines.

Two researchers at DefCon in Las Vegas showed how they can hack into automation systems that run through powerlines.

According to Wired.com, the hackers showed how, using a sniffer device connected to the broadband network via an electrical outlet, they could manipulate 15 different neighbors' lights, HVAC and security systems that communicate via the powerline because those communication signals are not encrypted.

The hackers also showed how they were able to track the movements of 15 neighbors with automation systems inside their homes via their motion sensors and cameras, as well as jam signals for lights and alarms.

None of the manufacturers have implemented really any security whatsoever on these devices," says Dave Kennedy, one of the hackers. "It's such an immature technology."

According to Wired.com, the hackers spent two months researching and designing their open-source tools to conduct the hacks.

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