Basic flaws still found in smart home tech, says report

Many devices still leaving gaping holes

Basic flaws still found in smart home tech
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Smart home security is back under the microscope, thanks to a report that’s found flaws in a host of devices. Security flaws in smart home devices have hit the news over the past few years, with infamous cases of baby monitors accessed remotely, and hackers enslaving thousands of smart kettles into botnets.

But while the smart home world marches on, it seems that the problems surrounding security aren’t going away. Researchers at the excitingly named Implementation Security and Side-Channel Attacks Lab at Ben-Gurion University, writing in the less impressive sounding Smart Card Research and Advanced Applications journal, tested 16 smart home devices.

Essential reading: Best smart home systems

The report has kept the identity of these smart home devices secret, or risk opening up owners of these devices to serious threat. But shockingly, of the 16 devices tested, flaws were found in 14.

“It only took 30 minutes to find passwords for most of the devices, and some of them were found only through a Google search of the brand,” Omer Shwartz, a project researcher, told Digital Trends.

“Once hackers can access an Internet of Things device, like a smart home camera, they can create an entire network of these camera models controlled separately,” he continued.

The research team outlined their methods, which involved using a variety of tools – both physical and software-based. They sniffed for data left in the memory, used brute-force techniques and password cracking software, and even attached a module to gain control of the device.

It’s a reminder about how vulnerable smart home devices in our home can be – and few people do proper research about how secure their devices are. Ensuring your devices have strong passwords is the simplest thing everyone can do, and should protect you against the majority of vulnerabilities.

TAGGED    smart home

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