KW 06: Vulnerability in Philips Hue smart lights, Disney Plus launch successful, Computer science as a compulsory subject in Germany


Vulnerability in Philips Hue smart lights: Researchers are warning about a newly found vulnerability in the Philips Hue smart light system. The flaw would allow cybercriminals to gain entry from over 100 meters away using only a laptop and an antenna. The flaw was specific to Philips devices, but was associated with the Zigbee protocol, which acts as a translator, of sorts, between smart devices, ensuring they work with other smart hubs. Philips has issued a patch for the vulnerability.

Disney Plus launch successful: Disney Plus has signed up 28.6 million people less than three months after the streaming service rolled out, Disney said Tuesday. “We had a strong first quarter, highlighted by the launch of Disney+, which has exceeded even our greatest expectations,” said CEO Bob Iger. The subscriber growth helped Disney beat its overall earnings, coming in at $28.6 billion in revenue, above the projected. Disney Plus launched in November in the US, Canada and the Netherlands. It has since widened to Australia and New Zealand, and its next big rollout will be to major Western European markets at the end of March.,

Computer science as a compulsory subject in Germany: Schoolchildren in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate will have a new compulsory subject with the start of the new school year. The new computer science curriculum will also cover the subject of networked devices. From 2021 onwards, the 9th and 10th grades will learn how devices and machines are networked in the Internet of Things. Applications can be digital voice assistants, intelligent garbage cans in the Smart City or the measurement of environmental data.

Thun pursues Smart City approach: The Swiss city of Thun wants to become a Smart City in order to achieve its climate goals. To do so, spatial scenarios are created to calculate the expected spread of electric cars. The foundation for this are planning instruments from urban development (structure plan for energy, overall traffic concepts, drafting of a zoning plan and building regulations) as well as available data on energy consumption, mobility, consumption and affinity of the population for new technologies.

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German consumer organization Stiftung Warentest tested upright vacuum cleaners and found eight that it rated “good”. Not a single one was “very good”.


Energy harvesting for smart devices: The Internet of Things should do one thing above all: simplify everyday life. But a question that is not asked often enough is what should a power supply look like that guarantees the permanent operation of IoT devices. One answer could be energy harvesting technology. Small amounts of energy in the form of light, wind or vibration are permanently drawn from the immediate vicinity. Up until now, this has been difficult. But thanks to a new semiconductor process technology for the manufacture of circuits with very low power consumption, it is now actually possible to develop intelligent communication applications that can be operated entirely with energy from the environment.

Digitalization of municipalities: An increasing number of municipalities are dealing with digitalization and pursuing a Smart City approach. But that is often not as easy as it looks. It requires time, personnel and financial resources. In the new episode of the podcast “Kommunal”, Ilona Benz, head of the digitalization department at the Baden-Württemberg Community Day, talks about these topics. And also what it means for a municipality if it refuses to digitize.


“We live in a country where there is a great fear of the future. The only thing that prevents us from digitalization is our mind and the fear that paralyzes us.”
The German government’s Commissioner for Digitalization, Dorothee Bär, fears that Germany will miss out on digitalization.


More bot attacks through IoT: Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks will increase significantly in 2020. One reason is the constant spread of IoT applications that can be hacked and then used for bot attacks. Every single networked device that is not adequately protected can turn into a potential soldier in a botnet army.

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