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Thursday, October 10, 2019

There Is a Creepy Side to Those 'Smart' toys to be gifted

Holiday shoppers try to "surprise" the season's top gifts (Amazon Echos, smart TVs, Internet-enabled games, etc.) to friends, family, and colleagues so they can inadvertently expose their gifts to the cybersecurity world.

Unfortunately, hackers are trying to expand their attacks across networks and emails are looking at devices connected to their home network.

Despite a recent security issue related to IoT devices (Smart Teddy Bear Defects), a recent study found that 65% of millennials are not aware of the risks of IoT, and the same percentage take this type of security seriously.

I understand that it was not. However, because the fireplace is already carefully filled, it is important to raise awareness of the types of threats that are causing such devices. Before making these final purchases, find out which popular items are most in danger and how homeowners can protect new toys.

Ho-Ho-Hold Phone-Consider these potential risks

The latest and hottest appliances are clearly on the holiday wish list, and there are good reasons for that! Many of them are not only fun to add to the home, but also add important elements useful for daily activities such as on / off lighting, music control, door locks, fun kids, etc.

In However, it is important for consumers to compare the pros and cons before bringing these things home.

One of the major risks associated with installing IoT devices is related to loss of privacy. With the evolution of IoT, devices equipped with video cameras must be avoided at all costs. I've seen vulnerabilities appear many times in connected cameras.

See here and examples here. While it makes sense to use IoT cameras outside for security reasons, bringing them home can be problematic.

In addition to security cameras, home appliances such as TVs, games, and vacuums are also equipped with video functions. Before buying and gifting these items, buyers need to think long and seriously about the potential impact.

So which devices are on Santa's prank list?

Last year, many games designed for children posed serious risks. Kera's doll is a typical example. Unfortunately, as manufacturers continue to develop and release connected games, security is not always a top priority when installing components such as remote audio and video capabilities.

Combined with the fact that children can easily become victims, shoppers should pay close attention when choosing technology devices integrated into the Internet for children.

From the home-connected perspective, smart speakers are a perfect example of a dangerous addition to the home. These items will be very popular this year, but it is important to evaluate the impact of their safety.

Last month, we confirmed the vulnerability of BlueBorne.

Important devices in this category were vulnerable to hackers via Bluetooth connectivity. This allowed malicious attackers to send false information by sending incorrect information (traffic reports and incorrect schedules) to smart speaker homeowners.

And what's the scariest thing? If a hacker has control over the connected device, it can spread to other network devices and eavesdrop on network traffic.

In addition, hackers are exposed to smart systems used to control door locks and garage door boxes. Apple's HomeKit is the latest example. As always, Apple was able to fix the problem quickly in a server-side patch.

Does this mean I need to remove the IoT device from my wish list?

Let's think realistically. The entire holiday buyers will not abandon the purchase of IoT devices as gifts, as IoT devices can be hacked.

And to be honest, many items still make great gifts — something that adds convenience and entertainment, such as automation of lighting and switching outlets, for example.

That said, consumers need to be diligent and protect these items, and devices with video cameras need special attention. Before buying an IoT device, ask the following questions:

Who is the manufacturer? Can a reputable or suspicious person save a few dollars? Look for products released by companies such as Amazon, Apple, Bose, and Google during this holiday season.

Many of these companies, such as Amazon and Google, already have patch solutions in place, so if a vulnerability occurs, the problem can be mitigated quickly. Initial costs can be incurred, but savings from potential security breaches are significant.

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