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Setting up your smart home might leave you feeling safe and secure with all those gadgets protecting you. But any technology with wireless, Bluetooth or other radios is open to attack and exploit by hackers, so be careful.
Big Name Products Ripped Open
Hacking is a wonderful sport, if you’re of the criminal persuasion, you can be miles or continents away from the scene of the crime. You don’t even have to commit the crime, hackers make money selling compromised machines to others who will take advantage of them.
So. it comes as little surprise to hear that the hackers are now taking aim at smarthome hubs, which could allow them to take control of your smart door lock, activate smart cameras to see what you’re up to and access any data you store on networked devices.
At worst, they could mess with the heating or disable an alarm, just when it is needed.
An article on IT Pro highlights the problem, with the culprits in this case being the SmartThings Hub, Vera Mios and the Wink Hub. Just because other products aren’t listed it doesn’t mean they are immune.
Two of the products have been patched and auto-updated, highlighting how seriously most vendors take the issue. But this news provides a timely reminder that a smart home needs to be properly secured.
How to Stay Safe
There are some obvious ways to help improve security in your smart home. For a start change any default passwords, from the main router to every smart device and network point.
Secondly ensure you have antivirus, malware and spam protection on all PCs to prevent you opening infected emails, fake websites and avoid any dubious messages that might trick you into visiting fake pages.
You can also install a device like the iGuardian which is basically a business class traffic inspection tool for the home that inspects all inbound data and stops any rogue code.
All devices should be kept up to date, and if you have one product that is no longer supported, or the company has moved on or gone bust, consider replacing it with one that receives current updates to protect them.
Finally, avoid using unofficial software, patches and updates that could infect your smart home devices. While most community apps will be fine, it only takes one to infect a system and leave it open for hackers.
Caution: Whether you live in the anonymity of a big city or are far away from it all in a small town, don’t think hackers can’t find you. They use automated tools to send out millions of hack attacks, billions of spam emails and other messages.
Consider yourself on the frontline of the war against hackers and treat your home accordingly.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!