The Ping: Hacking Smart Devices

How nice is it to come home to a well-lit house and the cool A/C on a hot summer day? Smart devices seem to be the easy fix for the little things in life with all of our busy schedules taking up so much of our time. While some of these devices are being put into place to help keep our homes secure, we might be inviting more danger in without even knowing it.

Recent studies have found that almost any Tom, Dick or Harry can hack a smart device within 30 minutes. All they need is access to the internet and the make and model of the device in question. “Using these devices in our lab, we were able to play loud music through a baby monitor, turn off a thermostat and turn on a camera remotely, much to the concern of our researchers who themselves use these products.” – Dr. Yossi Oren

Everyday devices such as smart thermostats, home security cameras, smart locks and alarms, and possibly most vulnerable are baby monitors have been easily hacked. These items are sold with a manufacturer’s default username and password that most users fail to change when installing them into their homes.

If these are items you’d like to add to your home, here are a few things you can do to minimize your chances of being hacked:

  • Change the default username and password!
    • Use a 16 character or more password
    • Don’t reuse passwords for multiple devices
  • Regularly apply software updates
  • Purchase your smart devices from reputable manufacturers/vendors
    • Don’t buy used devices!
  • Don’t connect the device to the internet if it’s unnecessary

For more information about specific at-home smart devices, check out this handy tool created by CNN.



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