Category Archives: Security

Hoverboards are not UL Listed!
Is your Power Switch?

Not UL Listed!  Go check your PDU.  It might not be either.

With all the news about hoverboards catching fire,  it is clear that we all need to think more about product safety.  Something catches the consumers’ eye, becomes the hot new thing and then literally becomes the hot new thing.  Suddenly there are concerns over safety,  liability  and  insurance coverage.   The case with these hoverboards became acute very quickly.  Now  the FAA forbids  them on airplanes and the USPS will not accept them for shipment.

Not one of these popular products is UL Listed.  Consumers are often shocked that products can be sold without proper safety review and certification.  It’s only after a fire breaks out or someone shocks themselves does the lack of safety testing become acutely important.

Dataprobe Power Switches are UL Listed.

Those of us that make UL Listed products take the time and make the investment to produce the safest products possible.  Just like as with hoverboards, there are cheap non-certified PDUs (Power Distribution Units) you can purchase.   It’s shocking (forgive the pun) to me that these are sold by vendors that are counting on your ignorance.

Please be safe and purchase only UL or other NRTL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory) certified power products.  Dataprobe and our legitimate competitors that use these labs make professional products for commercial and residential purposes.

While it’s is not required to put UL Listed products in your home, it is for your organization.  OSHA requires that only NRTL certified electrical equipment be used in the workplace.  Non-compliance can result in fines, lawsuits and insurance claims denied.  A list of NRTLs can be found at the OSHA NRTL List.   If you don’t see one of these logos on your power distribution units, you should inform your employer to have them replaced.   For more information on these OSHA requirements visit

More information about Dataprobe’s UL Listings and why it is important at

Stay informed about  Product Safety, Network Reliability and Dataprobe:

“Your iBoot will save lives”

We like to think that we fulfill an important mission, keeping networks reliable and minimizing downtime.  We try not to use too much hyperbole in touting our significance in the lives of other people, but sometime we hear from users that moves us to tear of pride.  I will share one of those letters with you:

“I am the Senior Field Engineer for a Federal Law Enforcement Task Force. My job includes managing, maintaining, and improving our own Special Operations Support Unit and also supporting all other federal, state, county, and local law enforcement agencies; 200 of them with all forms of electronic surveillance. Out of the 200 agencies, only about 20 of them have their own technical support units and I work with them all. 

For the last two years we have been working on a large project that has helped fight crime on a whole new level. There has been one weak point in this project that has not only cost us a lot of over-time but has also slowed us down because of all the time we had to spend going out and manually re-booting equipment. Some of the areas this equipment has been installed in require us to put a team of undercover officers together to act as ‘protection’ for a technician to go out and do the re-boot. It also requires the use of a special truck because of the height of the equipment. This has cost us a lot financially, but it has also jeopardized lives and cases.

On our last equipment deployment – the Friday night before Memorial Day weekend – our equipment lasted only 12 hours before needing to be re-booted. The case involved a threat to the life of a Law Enforcement Officer and his family. So for the next few days (remember this is a Holiday weekend), every 12 to 24 hours we had to put a group of people together to go out and re-boot this device. As you can see, this put a lot of people’s lives and plans on hold to protect the life of this man and his family and we all did this happily. 

After finding your iBoot online, and then installing it into our equipment, we have not had to go out to this unit again. I have not only made it a policy in our office that any new installation MUST have an iBoot installed in it, but I have also notified the other 20 tech departments I work with and have told them that they will need to do the same. Your iBoot will save lives!

– A Very Happy Law Enforcement Agency (Name withheld upon request for security reasons)

[avatar user=”dp_george” size=”thumbnail” align=”left”] George Foote
VP, Sales,
Dataprobe Inc.

Keeping Baby Monitors Secure

Yesterday’s news regarding the FCC censure of Trendnet for lax security measures that allow unsophisticated hackers to view home camera feeds has sharpened the focus on the Internet of Things (IoT).  As more devices become network connected, and these devices play a more critical role in our daily lives, we need to be mindful of how much of our cherished privacy and necessary security is being exposed and vulnerable.


Home automation systems, and standalone devices such as door locks, medical monitoring systems and even automobiles are all internet connected and therefore subject to hacking.  Kashmir Hill of Forbes did some excellent work on this issue and was recently interviewed by PBS Newshour.

She detailed how easy it was for her to gain access to cameras, baby monitors, garage door openers and the like using no more than a search engine called Shodan and the default username/password of popular devices.   Home devices are not the only ones exposed.  You can find construction vehicles and much more, many poorly secured and accessible.   The StuxNet virus illustrates that industrial systems are vulnerable and targeted for malware.

Kiosks and other devices in the self-service space are also targets for hackers. For an overview of how easy it is, visit: This presentation by Paul Craig of

These stories and trends bring out some clear action items for both users and manufacturers of these devices.  Users must not leave the default username and password combinations.  These are public knowledge and are easy to change.  Keep the firmware updated to get the latest security patches for all these connected devices.  Registering your device with the manufacturer will help you know about the latest available firmware.  Use port forwarding, or better set up a VPN if you router has that capability.

Manufactures need to better address these security issues as well, or face the types of sanctions that Trendnet is facing now.  Make security a priority thought the life cycle of the device, from initial requirements, through product testing, and continuing threat assessment.  Patch security holes as they are reported and push firmware out to users.  Manufacturers must balance the need for security with maintaining the low cost that makes these devices affordable to the target audience.  That is much harder to do for home systems than industrial devices.  As the Internet of Things becomes more ubiquitous, it becomes a necessity rather than a differentiator.

[avatar user=”dp_david” size=”thumbnail” align=”left”] David Weiss, President
Dataprobe Inc.