July 12, 2021

Block it all via the router?

First let me say that I’m a newbie when it comes to security. Several years ago, I remember seeing an interview with John Mcaffee where he said he was working on some software project (or maybe it was a whole router) that would pretty much guarantee a stop to the spying unless the user did something foolhardy. Basically, the “internet of things” would be made null and void in terms of how much these household devices could spy on you.

This “router thing” he was making wouldn’t let Alexa report back to amazon. It wouldn’t let your thermostat and your refrigerator send anything to samsung. Your phone wouldn’t be able to report in to apple, at least not by way of your home network. Your TV and it’s microphone could record you all they wanted, and it would never be permitted to leave your house.

Granted, Mcaffee wasn’t exactly someone you could trust 100% when it came to things he said. He was a strange character for sure. I’m not asking about his credibility, I’m asking whether the idea itself is sound. Would it be possible to write a firmware, or otherwise make a router block all of these things? It seems to me that it should indeed be possible for all the spy devices to receive the updates they need, and still be secure.

You’d tell the router to allow things to come in to those devices. But nothing was ever permitted to go out. That way they’d get their updates and upgrades, but their ability to spy on you would be killed. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this, and maybe it already exists and in my newbishness, I don’t know about it. My router doesn’t seem to have the option to allow things in, but not out. It’s either on/off when it comes to a device. Thanks!

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