Botched Software Update Sends Many Wink Smart Home Hubs To Early Grave

One of the definitions of irony is "a situation that is strange or funny because things happen in a way that seems to be the opposite of what you expected." So here's a question -- what if a situation seems ironic, only those affected don't find it funny? Is it still ironic? We pose this question because Wink sent out a security update to Wink Hub owners that certainly seems ironic to us, though only because we don't own one.

In an email sent out to affected Wink Hub owners, the company explained, "Your Wink Hub is now so secure that it is unable to connect to the Wink Servers. This means that you are no longer able to control your Hub-dependent devices with your Wink app. It also means your schedules and robots will not function."

Wink

How's that for rock solid security? Wink is understandably "terribly embarrassed" by the situation, which it says is the result of a misconfiguration in the security update it sent out. It resulted in a complete service disruption for all Wink Hub owners yesterday lasting from 12:40PM to 11:00 PM Eastern. Wink said it was able to recover and reconnect the majority of Hubs, though many others remain super secure broken.

Owners of busted Wink Hubs are being asked to send their devices back to Wink for repair, with a promise that they'll get their units back within a few days. If you're an affected user and didn't receive an email with a link and instructions, you can get in touch with Wink by calling 844-WINK-APP or on Twitter via @TheWinkApp.

In addition, Wink is offering users a $50 discount on items on Wink.com with code WESOSORRY, though you have to act fast --- it's a 48-hour code that was issued yesterday.

Update April 20, 2015

There have been a couple of developments since this article went live. The first is that the WESOSORRY coupon code has been deactivated due to abuse -- affected users are instead being emailed special discount codes.

As for the second development, Wink got in touch with HotHardware and offered up some additional info, including information on a self-service fix and some figures on how many were affected by this.

"Yesterday, Sunday, April 19, Wink worked diligently to enable a self-service fix for users comfortable making some quick changes to their home’s router settings. Instructions for users recovering their Wink Hub can be found at recovery.wink.com. For those who wish to send their Hub in for repair, they can continue to do so free of charge by visiting hubrepair.quirky.com. We'll provide a box and shipping label and be sending replacement Hubs as soon as possible," a Wink spokesperson told HotHardware.

"Approximately 25 percent of Wink users were impacted by Saturday's outage and we were able to recover and reconnect 40 percent of those users within 10 hours. Thousands have already selected the self-service fix and by the end of Monday, April 20 we expect the outage to be limited to 10 percent of Wink users," Wink continued.

Via:  Wink
Show comments blog comments powered by Disqus