A warning around purchasing an Alkatronic 2nd hand

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MnFish1

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Or in a business/public aquarium/office setting. I could see “some” defense needed. However the need to bark to get any movement is the issue. I actually don’t mind the passwords and whatnot. I can choose to add you for example to monitor my reef, modify my reef, or even take over admin of my reef (this is apex but I think it’s a valid comparison). If someone got in there and dumped all my ddr reservoirs into my tank with my dos I’d be screwed. So I GET IT. However the stonewall until public outcry tactic is best reserved for politics imo
I will play devils advocate - here - because - I do not believe that @Rewd is defrauding anybody. We are not talking about 1 person. we are talking about perhaps thousands of people. In thousands of aquaria. The security is not unreasonable - IMHO.
 
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HeyLookItsCaps

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PS - and this has become a total tempest in a teapot - its solved - thy guy got his equipment. My guess is that it was not all that difficult, and its created a ruckus. On the other hand - the company IDK _ I don't know all the security vulnerabilities of this device.

Yea, sort of beating a dead horse now aren’t we. Well hopefully someone somewhere learned something valuable. Consumers and companies alike
 

HeyLookItsCaps

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I will play devils advocate - here - because - I do not believe that @Rewd is defrauding anybody. We are not talking about 1 person. we are talking about perhaps thousands of people. In thousands of aquaria. The security is not unreasonable - IMHO.

I am with ya. It just shouldn’t have to go this far to get a resolution.
 

CollectOyster04

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I guess I'm just too lowly of a simple blue collar guy to understand how serious the threat is for any IOT aquarium items to be hacked. Out of all of the "smart" items, I just couldn't imagine aquariums are that much of a gateway. Sure you hear about tv's with cameras, or Alexa's or what not being compromised. Those things are much more prevalent in homes.
I guess I get having some sort of firewall built in for this kind of prevention. But let's be real, the overall size of the consumer base with said aquarium equipment is relatively so small that most hackers probably wouldn't waste the time or the risk for such a small target group. Again, my ignorance could get the best of me, but I just can't see it. You would think there'd be all kinds of posts here of the horror stories from being hacked (or robbed lol).
As it has been said and stressed numerous times now, the issue is companies treating these requests like you're asking for CIA clearance. I get laws may be in play (please don't get me started about our awesome legal system), but, and I say this too often, sometimes common sense must prevail. Someone reaching out in good faith (I could give a rats but how long it took), about an issue like this should be quickly resolved without refusal to cooperate. If any company sells products like this, they should expect to have these issues and have policies(preferably customer friendly) to help rectify.
The thing to note, for everyone who has bought these products and understands the hassle of "linking" and setting up, you can't honestly say you didn't think about it before selling. Good God. Stop being lazy and unlink your products before selling. I personally went through it with a 2nd hand apex. Fortunately the seller was local and was a phone call away to help with this. That was still a hassle. Makes me never forget what a hassle it was and if I were ever to sell, it'll be one of the 1st things I think about. And I appreciate those that go out of their way to let buyers know ahead of time that it was done as some here have done with products I bought in the classifieds. So many failures, but it doesn't start with the buyer IMHO.
 

CollectOyster04

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Also had to laugh about the comment about the analogy of buying a used aquarium and waiting 6 months to find out it leaks. Apples to oranges. This was never about working order. Proper aquarium analogy would be buying a used aquarium and waiting 6 months to fill, only to find out xyz aquarium manufacturer won't allow you to put water in it because the previous owner didn't relinquish rights to the tank. At that point you still don't know if it leaks or not. When put that way, it's sounds pretty silly, no ?
 
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MnFish1

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Also had to laugh about the comment about the analogy of buying a used aquarium and waiting 6 months to find out it leaks. Apples to oranges. This was never about working order. Proper aquarium analogy would be buying a used aquarium and waiting 6 months to fill, only to find out xyz aquarium manufacturer won't allow you to put water in it because the previous owner didn't relinquish rights to the tank. At that point you still don't know if it leaks or not. When put that way, it's sounds pretty silly, no ?
I had to laugh at this comment - its extremely similar. Hmm... the request - to unlink it was made 6-7 months later. So - how is it unrelated lol. I disagree with your analogy. In this case - the person bought something - then could not return it with PayPal or his credit card company because of the time. If he had just done that - this would never have been posted (the thread)Lets break it down to reality:

1. I buy equipment - register it to myself.
2. I sell said equipment (likely at a significant discount)
3. 6 months later the seller - who is clueless - has now sold all of his gear/aquarium - and likely not waiting for an email with questions from the buyer
4. Now - the buyer has no recourse - cant go back to PayPal, cant go back to the CC company.
5. Sounds pretty silly, no? NO offense to @Rewd. It is silly. It could have been completely avoided.

BTW - to use my/your analogy - anyone 'dumb' enough not to test a used aquarium - within 6 months - or even before taking delivery - is a fool. OH - BTW - I can say this - because - I took delivery of a used 200 gallon tank - and 75 gallon sump - the guy helped me set it up - and the stand was like balsa wood - the way it moved. Of course - the 400 + lb tank was inside - and the 300 lb + Stand was there. I said ok - it was a cheap price - I was stupid. The buyer here was 'mis-informed'. The tank was out of my house within a year. Learn lessons. Don't buy internet gear without making sure its 'unlocked'. Thats the key point here - not my (in your opinion) silly analogy.
 

MnFish1

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Although point 4. should read:

Buyer has no financial recourse, so his only option is to contact the manufacturer. The manufacturer, being a professional organization, offers a solution to the problem.
They did - and its solved - with perhaps some international misunderstandings - and unnecessary (on their part) obfuscation
 

Chrisv.

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I'm glad this was resolved. One issue I see that may not have been discussed here is that it's entirely possible for these relatively tiny companies to go out of business. We're not talking about Apple here.

If focustronic (or whatever company) folds and there is no way to hard reset via some instrument interface (e.g a reset button) then all of this becomes much harder.

If the last year of mergers and acquisitions in our hobby has taught me anything, it's that even companies you have known for years can be bought by outsiders and they can and do disappear (e.g. marine depot).
 

MnFish1

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I'm glad this was resolved. One issue I see that may not have been discussed here is that it's entirely possible for these relatively tiny companies to go out of business. We're not talking about Apple here.

If focustronic (or whatever company) folds and there is no way to hard reset via some instrument interface (e.g a reset button) then all of this becomes much harder.

If the last year of mergers and acquisitions in our hobby has taught me anything, it's that even companies you have known for years can be bought by outsiders and they can and do disappear (e.g. marine depot).
Interesting take. I do not think this thread - will bankrupt Focustronic. If it does - it shows IMHO - and I'm not any expert - how ridiculous this hobby has become.
 

Brian_68

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In general companies should have plans and policies in place to avoid stolen goods getting sold and put back in use, just like cell phones. I can easily create a fake invoice in 5 minutes to say I bought it off someone via paypal or any other method if I really wanted to, which I do not.
 

Chrisv.

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Interesting take. I do not think this thread - will bankrupt Focustronic. If it does - it shows IMHO - and I'm not any expert - how ridiculous this hobby has become.
Oh neither do I! I have no delusion that this thread matters AT ALL. I'm just saying that we're putting a lot of faith in companies that sell maybe hundreds to a couple thousand units a year, tops.

This is not like buying a Ford and knowing that there will be parts available forever.
 

KrisReef

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And no .. I am not a new member .. it is the first time I have ever posted anything on here ..
David Hammontree can also vouch for me as I have met him personally a few times when I am on your side of the pond
Welcome to Reef2Reef!

Oh, and I have an Iphone this chick dropped in Walmart before Christmas. I tried to catch up to her but she ran faster when she saw me yelling? Do you think you can jailbreak it for me so I can give it back?

Actually, I just forgot my password and need some tech help and you seem nice.

michael jackson dancing GIF
Either way, welcome and thanks for fixing this one all legit!
 

MnFish1

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In general companies should have plans and policies in place to avoid stolen goods getting sold and put back in use, just like cell phones. I can easily create a fake invoice in 5 minutes to say I bought it off someone via paypal or any other method if I really wanted to, which I do not.
Could you hook me up - wait just kidding (seriously - just kidding)
 

Karen00

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This situation has made me acutely aware that should I purchase second hand equipment that has an app/controller (no matter what the device is) that I ensure the owner unlinks it if necessary before they send it and they confirm it has been unlinked. That is crazy about the nest thermostat in a house you buy. I would hope a device like that has a hard reset feature that would automatically unlink it.
 
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MnFish1

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This situation has made me acutely aware that should I purchase second hand equipment that has an app/controller (no matter what the device is) that I ensure the owner unlinks it if necessary before they send it and they confirm it has been unlinked. That is crazy about the nest thermostat in a house you buy. I would hope a device like that has a hard reset feature that would automatically unlink it.
Again for educational purposes:

 

a.t.t.r

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This situation has made me acutely aware that should I purchase second hand equipment that has an app/controller (no matter what the device is) that I ensure the owner unlinks it if necessary before they send it and they confirm it has been unlinked. That is crazy about the nest thermostat in a house you buy. I would hope a device like that has a hard reset feature that would automatically unlink it.

You got it backwards. You can Relink the nest to a new account you just need physical access to it. Which is the right way to handle things.

Also really don’t like the everything in the cloud way we are going. What ever happened to locally hosted interfaces (ie log in via the ip from a web browser). Company goes under you still have all your features.
When I got my security cameras I made sure it was not cloud dependent. (It has features with it but I can do everything local or even offline with no apps)
 
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