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'Smart homes' easily fall victim to hackers

Sunday - 8/11/2013, 9:26am  ET

Hackers can control your toilet

Joan Jones, WTOP

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WASHINGTON - So you spent the money to make your house a "smart home." But that could have been the dumbest decision you've ever made.

Because smart homes are hackable. Forbes technology reporter Kashmir Hill called an Oregon software developer to tell him that she could see his home online.

"Early on a Thursday morning this week. His wife picked up the phone and was a little annoyed that I called," Hill tells WTOP.

She could turn off the lights in his bedroom, she told him.

"And when I did it, I heard him gasp," she says.

Hill says hackers have also taken control of one upscale brand of toilet.

"If you have the app on your phone, you could turn the bidet on and off. You could prank anybody who has this toilet in their house," Hill says.

The problem is that some of these systems are not password protected. And savvy thieves could, potentially, open your garage door and gain entry to your home. Hill advises that you make sure there's a user name and password to access your smart home online.

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