As part of [Erich Styger]’s recent kitchen overhaul with more power-efficient machines, he came across the ‘AutoDos’ feature of the new Miele G 27695-60 dishwasher. These are essentially overpriced containers of dishwashing powder that go into a special compartment of the machine, from which the dishwasher can then dispense the powder as needed. The high price tag and purported single-use of these containers led to the obvious question of whether they can be refilled.
With a cost of over $10 per PowerDisk container, each containing 400 grams of powder that suffice for ~20 cycles, it should be obvious that this is not a cheap system. Fortunately, each PowerDisk is just a foil-covered plastic container with no real special components. This meant that one hole and some funnel action later, [Erich] had refilled an empty PowerDisk with fresh powder, with the Miele dishwasher happily purring away and none the wiser that it wasn’t using Genuine Miele PowerDisk Dishwasher Powder™.
How well this system holds up long-term is uncertain, as the containers were not designed for constant reuse, but it offers the perspective of some creative 3D printing to create an (ABS-based?) container alternative. Having a automatic powder or liquid dosing system in a dishwasher is a pretty useful feature, but when it gets tied to what is clearly a cash grab, it rather ruins the deal.
(Thanks to [Christian] for sending this one in)
As if Windows Update wasn’t bad enough, one has to deal with a plethora of attention-hungry programs and utilities all begging for a continual stream of patches from the Internet. It’s exhausting, but unfortunately also par for the course. Many of these updates are to close security vulnerabilities that could otherwise expose your computer to undesirables. The Internet of Things will only expand the amount of hardware and software you need to keep updated and protected on a daily basis. Now, it’s your dishwasher that’s under attack.
The Register reports that Jens Regel discovered the bug in a Miele dishwasher with a webserver. It’s a basic directory traversal attack that can net the intruder the shadow password file. Armed with this, it’s simple to take over the embedded Linux system and wreak havoc on your local network.
It’s not particularly surprising – we’ve talked about IoT security and its pitfalls before. The problem is, a dishwasher is not a computer. Unlike Microsoft, or Google, or even the people behind VLC, Miele don’t have infrastructure in place to push out an update to dishwashers worldwide. This means that as it stands, your only real solutions are to either disconnect the dishwasher from your network, or lock it behind a highly restrictive firewall. Both are likely to impede functionality. Of course, as always, many will ask why a dishwasher needs to be connected to the Internet at all. Why indeed.