NEW YORK — Smart devices can make life simpler at home, but they can also expose you to security risks.
Even your lightbulbs may put you at risk.
New Yorkers were questioned by CBS2’s Alice Gainer if they were aware that smart gadgets in their homes may make them a target for a physical break-in.
One guy remarked, “Not on my radar.”
“I’ve always suspected that and it may be part of the reason we don’t have any of these gadgets in the house,” another individual added.
Another individual stated, “My cousin’s Ring camera was hacked into, and they were chatting to her children.”
INE.com’s chief content officer is Neal Bridges.
“What are the newest techniques for hackers to get access to people’s homes?” Gainer inquired.
“It still boils down to Ring doorbells, door locks, and then once they’re inside, things like these network or internet-accessible safes,” Bridges said.
INE is a technology training company that offers a cybersecurity lab.
“If you think about what a smart device does in your home, it can have anything from your address, your Wi-Fi password, how to lock, unlock your house or your valuables,” Bridges said.
From LED strips to your smart lightbulb, which has a circuit board inside with chips, you could be exposed.
“That effectively acts just like your laptop, just like the computer technology that’s in your phone that look to communicate wirelessly with your wireless network so that you can control it remotely via web browser or with your phone,” Bridges said.
In what he describes as a brute force attack, Bridges ran a tool that can guess a username and password in a matter of seconds. From there, it snowballs.
“We’ve also got access to names, email addresses. We can get into their cloud storage,” Bridges said. “We have a physical address, a phone number, and an integration with Alexa.”
Got your thermostat set for vacation? If hacked, they could learn when you’ll be out of town.
There are ways you can try to safeguard yourself:
- Change the default password that came with the device.
- Enable multi-factor authentication.
- Keep your software up to date; it’s easier, Bridges says, to hack outdated technology.
“How would you even know you’ve been hacked?” Gainer asked.
“That’s the scariest part about this. There are no indicators, really, that you’ve been hacked. You probably won’t even know until after the incident occurs,” Bridges said. “It becomes very, very scary for a normal person to realize that the technology that they trust on a day-to-day basis can literally be used against them in their own home.”
He says it comes down to being smarter about your smart device.
Bridges says a big problem is that there are no industry standards established for how secure these devices have to be.
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