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Cut adrift

Read: 8911 Comments: 1 Rating: 44

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Cinderella enjoyed herself, danced and quite
forgot about the fairy godmother`s command.
It seemed to her that it was not even eleven o’clock
when it stroke twelve.

Charles Perrault

Each developer has its own policy for supporting its software. Terms of support are stipulated in user license agreements. But how many people read them?

For example, Google believes that Android updates must be distributed by device manufacturers that use this OS. The result is to be expected—critical security updates do not always reach the end-user, and, perhaps, they never do. And when the company unilaterally ceases to support old versions of Android, the user is forced to buy a new gadget with a new system version, or permanently move into a danger zone.

Recently, the Internet was all atwitter over an incident that makes one wonder whether there’s any sense in buying devices whose continued operation depends not on the devices themselves, but on the mercy of the manufacturer.

Revolv is a system consisting of software and external devices that is designed to automate residential buildings. The user can communicate via radio with their home’s light switches, garage door opener, alarm system and alarm clocks, motion sensors, and air conditioning equipment. The house can be controlled over the Internet from a mobile phone application. Fine tuning allows the house to live a life of its own, for example, by turning lights on and off in a manner that would indicate that people are at home, and, thus, deter burglars.

In 2014, Google acquired Revolv. On the basis of this system, other products—better, safer, and more useful—have been developed. Resources ran out to keep Revolv going, and as of May 15, 2016, the central device and the application are defunct.

One user discovered this information by accident while checking the status of a request they’d filed on a completely different topic. The end of support in this case means not just a lack of updates or repair options—the situation is far more serious: a smart house will lose its capabilities and stop working, and the owner will have to search for and buy a new device, and configure everything again from scratch. The warranty has expired; all the data will be deleted; and security will be reduced to zero.

The Anti-virus Times recommends

  • The most important condition when working with software is to be sure that the manufacturer issues updates. If they don’t, there’s a daily risk of infection since cybercriminals know that the existing vulnerabilities will never be closed.
  • If your device is not receiving updates, but is still operational, you can install an anti-virus on it—do this, and then switch all the anti-virus settings to the most paranoid mode.
  • Minimize interaction between this device and the network.


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