Philips Hue Bridge suddenly started sending gigabytes of data to Internet

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  • Problem
  • Updated 4 weeks ago
  • Acknowledged
Posting a cautionary note (and curious if anyone else has observed this behavior).  Over the past 24-48 hours, my Internet usage with Viasat suddenly went through the roof -- hitting 38 gigabytes in just a little over 24 hours.  I'm on the Freedom plan and I've never gone past 30 gigabytes in a month, even with a house full of smart devices and security cams that I occasionally connect to remotely.

When I noticed the extreme usage, I fired up the Traffic Analyzer on my router and was able to identify the culprit: a second-generation Philips Hue bridge. When the Hue bridge is connected to Ethernet, my router shows outgoing traffic ranging from 250 KB/s to 1 MB/s, non-stop.  When I unplug the Ethernet cable from the back of the Hue Bridge, the outgoing traffic immediately drops back down to normal levels (on average less than 10 KB/s.) I tried this experiment several times.  Plugging in the Hue Bridge caused a surge in network activity within a minute or two; disconnecting it immediately caused it to drop.

My logs show that this surge in activity began sometime within the past couple days.  Before then network activity was normal.  I've had this Hue Bridge connected to Ethernet for at least two years and have never noticed this issue before.

It's pretty alarming to blow past 38 gigabytes in one day.  I'm glad I checked my usage and noticed this. It would have reached 150 (I'm on the Freedom plan) within the next couple days and I'm not sure what would have happened then.

Has anyone else noticed something like this before?  My main two theories right now are that (a) Philips pushed out a buggy software update (looks like they may have issued a firmware update for the Hue Bridge about a week ago), or (b) that the Hue Bridge somehow got hacked (which seems unlikely, but not unthinkable; I've never configured Hue for remote access and only had it connected to my network via Ethernet so I could program it with the iPad app).  Perhaps I'm missing some other explanation.

For now I'll leave the Hue Bridge disconnected.  If you have a Hue Bridge connected to the Internet, you might want to keep an eye on it.
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Mathew Smith

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Posted 4 weeks ago

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Photo of Steve Frederick

Steve Frederick, Champion

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It could be that your Hue has been infected with a virus or spyware. I would try to go to the factory configuration by doing a complete reset, it it is possible, then do any configuration it might need to operate your devices.
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wm4bama, Champion

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Photo of Stephen Rice

Stephen Rice

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I would let Viasat know by sending them an email. They may have other customers experiencing the same problem and might know of a solution. It's a long shot, but you might even get a courtesy credit for reporting the issue with a 3rd party device.