Don’t Get Your Front Door Hacked
In a world where your toaster sends e-mails and your couch needs a software upgrade and your neighbors are watching Family Guy on your Netflix account it might be wise to beef up home security. And I don't mean alarms on your doors and windows, but network security. You see those lights that you can control with voice commands and over your phone might also be a pathway into your home for the right hacker.
Smart homes are a major step forward in a movement that is currently being referred to as an Internet of things. This is a way of saying that all things are online, not just people or computers. The tech industry would like us to connect everything in the world the way things are connected on the Internet. While this sounds exciting and new world ordery it also opens up a, allow me to use and antiquated colloquialism, can of worms that we may not be ready to deal with. Instead of hackers taking your credit card number now they might take your front door key. Both are a bad situation but having dues running in your door pointing smart phones at you is actually a little scarier than having to call your bank and tell them to discontinue your credit card account. This interconnected web of things includes tablets, phones, lights, washing machines, televisions, and the headset I'm using to dictate this. One of the ultimate expressions of this new idea is Nest from Google. This system control your home from a cloud that you can access from anywhere. Does this sound very exciting or terrifying? Maybe a little of both.
This Internet of objects not surprisingly has all the security issues of the first Internet. This time however there little bit worse as you may be actually physically endangered by them. A survey was done that one across hundreds of product designers, security personnel, and white hat hackers and the message was clear: the smart home is not safe.
Interestingly the reason the smart home is not safe is because security is an afterthought for many of the devices designed for devices and chips are rushed out the door with manufacturers intending on securing them after purchase. This is done many times to control costs as devices that are not in use, or do not sell, would not need to be secured. If this sounds a little crazy it's not you. Many experts say that the smart refrigerator that is available on the market now is the most vulnerable of all other smart devices. Since this refrigerator is constantly connected to the Internet it has what is considered a large attack surface. This means it is a hot topic for hackers and a prime target. Not surprisingly the more smart items you have in your home the larger target you become.