LG Washing Machine Caught Sending Gigabytes of Data Per Day

lg washing machine smarthinq

s your smart home appliance phoning home too much? One owner of a smart LG machine analyzed his Internet traffic and was stupefied when they saw this.

screenshot of traffic usage from lg washing machine by @johnie

Yes, one would expect an internet-connected washing machine to maybe download new programs or software patches, but what could it be uploading?

In this case, in a single day, the LG washing machine downloaded just around 100 mb of data, but sent home almost 4 GB. 

What kind of information could be in that huge amount of data, about the size of two full HD movies? Evidently, the case made people go crazy speculating about its ‘motives’, both in the initial tweet replies and on ArsTechnica, who reported on this.

From ArsTechnica:

“Working through the thread, we note that Johnie also pondered the possibility of someone using his washing machine for crypto mining. 

“I’d gladly rent our LPU (Laundry Processing Unit) by the hour,” he quipped. Again, there was the glimmer of a possibility that there could be truth behind this joke. 

Another social media user highlighted a history of hackers taking over LG smart-connected appliances. 

The SmartThinQ home appliances HomeHack vulnerability was patched several weeks after being made public. 

A similar modern hack might use the washing machine’s computer resources as part of a botnet. 

Taking control of an LG washing machine as part of a large botnet for cryptocurrency mining or nefarious networking purposes wouldn’t be as far-fetched as it sounds. Large numbers of relatively low-power devices can be formidable together.”

What’s your theory? Was the washing machine somehow videotaping its owners or was it creative malware?

Unfortunately, this case had a rather prosaic end. It turned out that it wasn’t the LG washing machine butt-dialing the company’s servers, nor hilarious hacking, but rather the user’s router having an issue. 

In a follow-up post, @Johnie said they’re chalking it up to “inaccuracy in the ASUS router tool”.

Also read: Dystopian Viral Video Shows Dozens of Chinese Streamers Under A Bridge Trying to “Game the Algorithm”

Lead image from LG customer support on YouTube

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