Did Someone Just Hack Your Coffee Maker?

We have just come across another excellent reason to use a French press or traditional methods as with Turkish coffee. Computer World tells us about when coffee makers attack.

It was shocking to learn that the recent distributed denial-of-service attack of the nation’s internet infrastructure via DNS provider Dyn was aided and abetted by a hijacked army of products from the internet of things. It is thought to be the first DoS attack to rely overwhelmingly on a lot of “dumb” appliances that have little processing power of their own but are connected to the internet. That’s right, the internet was crippled because our coffee makers, washing machines and refrigerators were recruited to bring it down.

Hackers managed to take control of more than 100,000 dumb devices like your coffee maker or even your toothbrush, although for the life of us we cannot fathom why a toothbrush would need internet access! Nevertheless the hackers pulled off a so-called denial of service attack by having 100,000 or so devices request access to the internet taking down an internet service company in the process. If someone just hacked your coffee maker what can you do? Here are three simple answers.

Keep the Coffee Maker and Change Your Password

If you bought a single serving coffee maker that you could access via you smart phone to start making the coffee as you are parking the car, maybe you want to keep the device. The answer then is to routinely change your username and password for the device. Read the instructions that came with the machine or contact the manufacturer if you need help. Because most of us are not storing nuclear weapons secrets or passwords to our bank account on the coffee maker we might have thought that no one cared. The quick answer is changing your password and username.

French Press

You really can make great coffee with a French press.

A French press is a coffee pot, typically glass, with a fine wire mesh plunger. Coffee grounds are added to the pot followed by hot water. The coffee is allowed to steep for a few minutes and then stirred briefly. Then the plunger is pushed down through the coffee. The bulk of the grounds are pushed to the bottom of the pot.

When you use a French press the coffee steeps just like tea. Because no filter is used you get the oils and particulate matter that contains so much of the aroma and flavor of the coffee. And the temperature of the coffee remains the same throughout the process until you pour into your coffee cup.

This method does not involve computer chips, access to the internet, usernames or passwords. And it makes great coffee.

French Press Coffee Maker

French Press Coffee Maker

Exotic Coffees

We have written about different ways to make coffee from around the world. None of these involves the internet or passwords and usernames. For example, Turkish coffee can be fun to make and is delicious as well.

Ibrik for Turkish Coffee

Ibrik for Turkish Coffee

Ibrik for Turkish Coffee

Here is the short and sweet approach to making Turkish coffee.

  • When making coffee Turkish style grind the coffee beans even finer than you would for making espresso.
  • Make Turkish coffee in a small pot with a cup of water
  • A small sauce pan will do although Turks use an ibrik (see image)
  • Add sugar
    • Plain: no sugar
    • Little sugar: add half a level teaspoon to the coffee
    • Medium: add a level teaspoon to the coffee
    • A lot of sugar: add two level teaspoons to the coffee
  • Bring the water with sugar to a boil and remove from heat
  • Add coffee and stir until coffee sinks
    • Some add a pod of cardamom as well (optional)
  • Heat again slowly until coffee boils and foam appears on the top
    • So not stir as this disturbs the foam
    • Do not boil too long as prolonged boiling gives the coffee a burnt taste
    • Remove from heat briefly and then heat again
    • Repeat one more time
  • Pour coffee directly from the ibrik or your sauce pan into demitasse cups similar to what you would use for espresso
  • Ideal Turkish coffee has a lot of thick foam (think of Cuban coffee) and the person who gets the cup with the most foam has the best coffee.

Get back to the basics of making coffee and forget about internet access for your coffee maker.

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