Cyberterror threat stalks Japan’s high-end toilet users

by Jun Hongo

Staff Writer

Cyberterrorists could strike at your most vulnerable and least expected moment because of a glitch in a smartphone-controlled high-tech toilet system manufactured in Japan.

According U.S. security firm Trustwave, high-end Lixil Corp. toilets, which can be controlled with Android smartphones, could easily be hacked to allow anyone to “activate the bidet or air-dry functions, causing discomfort or distress to the user” via remote access.

The glitch can further empower hackers to “unexpectedly open/close the lid,” the security firm warned.

The latest toilet sold under Lixil’s Satis brand, which comes with a price tag of around ¥350,000, includes state-of-the-art technology for its heated seat, adjustable bidet and a built-in speaker. The product went on sale in February.

Users can download to their smartphones the My Satis application, which enables them to control multiple functions — including the bidet location and power — while a Bluetooth connection can stream music from their phones over the toilet’s speaker.

The toilet even enables users to keep a record of their bowel movements in a diary format “which will make it possible to easily comprehend your health status every month,” Lixil stated.

But the bug discovered by Trustwave in the My Satis app means any third party could hijack the toilet’s functions. A spokeswoman for Lixil, based in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, said Friday that there is no need to raise the alert level, assuring the glitch does not pose an imminent threat.

For cyberterrorists to capitalize on the application flaw, they must first be able to pair their smartphone with the target toilet, and then remain a few meters close by to access its control system. A Satis toilet also doesn’t activate unless someone is seated on it, meaning a hacker wouldn’t be able to wastefully hose bidet water around while no one is using it.

  • M Eat Spigot

    All your poop are belong to us.

  • Toolonggone

    Watch out when you pee. Its sound is being recorded. Eww!!!