Over the last year, people have gotten wise to the wondrous, all powerful air fryer. Even now, people love to talk about how easy they are to use and praise the quality of the food that is cooked in an air fryer. As with any such appliance or gadget, the collective obsession drives sales, both for personal usage, as well as fryers purchased as gifts for family or friends. They really ARE a game changer-- you can now control what is essentially a tiny oven from your phone and have perfectly cooked french fries ready to go in less than half an hour.
But the convenience of that connectivity belies an issue that most users won't think about in their frenzy to air-fry every food item imaginable: how well secured are these devices? Internet connected appliances like smart fridges, smart doorbells, smart washing machines and smart air-fryers are all part of what is called the "Internet of Things"; which is a burgeoning sector of the electronics market that offers consumers the chance to have the future home they've always dreamed about by giving them remote control over anything from a vacuum cleaner to their lightbulbs. It's all a lot of fun, to be sure, but IoT manufacturers are notorious for not designing their devices with security in mind.
These oversights are commonly exploited by security researchers to show people how easy it would be to gain access to something like, say, a smart air fryer over the internet, and then use that access to do all sorts of nasty things to other devices on the network. More concerning, some appliances like air-fryers are capable of producing the temperatures of an oven-- without the same level of insulation of an actual oven. A malicious actor could in theory crank the temperature to the max variable or even higher, depending on what types of safeguards are in the device's software, potentially causing dangerous and life-threatening fires.
The potential for damage to one's life or property as a result of this type of attack is staggeringly high, and is something that needs to be considered and protected against, both at the factory and at the point of purchase.
To read more about the potential danger of IoT devices, check out this article on Forbes HERE.