Smart technology has the potential to make many of our lives easier, but it can also simplify things for the dark web. One insecure DVR, security camera, or router is all you need to disrupt the internet.
In the 21st century, objects, as well as humans, are smart. Vendors of smart devices use sensors, networking and algorithmic data-processing on an unprecedented scale. Software and hardware are indispensable in our daily life.
An Internet security company vpnMentor worked with a team of ethical hackers to assess the safety and privacy of some of the most popular devices found in smart homes. The research revealed how likely it is for a hacker to hack these devices and access private information, including audio and visual footage and sensitive information such as bank details.
One such device was the first-generation Amazon Echo. Hackers were able to open the device up and manipulate it using a specially crafted SD card. This means that malicious actors could live stream audio from its microphone, and remotely use its services.
With one in six US adults now owning a voice-activated smart speaker such as the Amazon Echo, this could leave millions of homes open to malicious attacks.
These findings are worrying, vpnMentor has compiled a list of recommendations to protect owners of smart homes from becoming easy targets.
This includes only buying smart gadgets from an officially certified source, ensuring smart devices are properly configured and regularly updated, keeping externally facing smart devices on a separate network, and being aware of any signs of physical intervention.
The lack of robust security in many smart devices was further highlighted in a study conducted by the Ben-Gurion University, which found that some devices could be compromised simply by googling the factory settings passwords. This is due to the fact that many users fail to change the default password when they set up the device.
Source: WeForum | PCMag | Verdict
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