Amazon Dash Button Hacked, Lets You Do More Than Buy Stuff

When Amazon debuted its Dash buttons earlier this year, the e-commerce world was all abuzz. Dash lets you order common household products at the push of physical buttons. But it didnEUt take long for a hacker to find a way to use Dash buttons to do more than order products.

Amazon, for example, rolled out a Tide-branded Dash button you can adhere to your washing machine. When the detergent is almost gone, you just hit the button and a new bottle is automatically delivered to your doorstep.

Ted Benson, co-founder and CTO of spreadsheet tool Cloudstitch, hacked AmazonEUs $5 Wi-Fi button to track baby data. BensonEUs hack never started with malicious intent. He and his wife tried a few baby-tracker apps but they didnEUt meet the changing needs of parents with a growing baby. He was looking for a simple button he could stick to the wall and push to record data about poops today and wake-ups tomorrow.

Multi-Purpose Dash

As it turned out, Amazon offered an EUeasy wayEU for Benson to write a program that sniffs his Wi-Fi network for evidence the button was pushed, then records the data point, he said.

EUDash buttons are turned off most of the time to preserve the battery inside. They only turn on when you push them,EU Benson wrote in Medium.com. EUAnd that means they have to re-connect to your Wi-Fi network every time they are pushed. ThatEUs easy to detect.EU He rigged his Dash button to send data to spreadsheet software.

EUA lot of people made fun of Dash buttons when Amazon launched them on the day before April FoolEUs Day,EU Benson said. EUBut regardless of what you think about Dash as a consumer product, itEUs an undeniably compelling prototype of what the Internet of Things is going to look like.EU

Could This Get Malicious?

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