“Smart” gadget hacks that might surprise you

Authored by a Symantec employee


Hack #1: A connected doll that can track your conversations:

This hack shows what could seem like a harmless child’s toy can actually be a privacy and security risk. Security researchers found that a “smart” doll that invited kids to converse with her over a cloud connection was vulnerable to a cybercriminal’s attempt to intercept communications over the connection. The toy manufacture was quick to fix the security issue.

As hot new gadgets make our homes smarter, they’re also making them more vulnerable.

With more of our devices connecting to the Internet – smart TVs, webcams, gaming consoles, thermostats – it’s crucial to have a good defense plan for your home network.

Help protect all of your personal devices connected to your home network, not just your laptop or desktop computer, with Norton Core.

Hack #2: Steer clear of this “smart” car:

In August of last year, security researchers found that common car gadgets were vulnerable to hacking. Formally called a commercial telematic control unit (TCU), these devices are used for a wide variety of services like navigation, voice and data communications. One of these TCU gadgets, a “dongle” used to track per-mile insurance, was the center of a proof-of-concept attack carried out by the security researchers. The researchers were able to exploit a vulnerability in the device installed in a car that allowed them to remotely hack a car’s systems and take control of the car’s functions.

Hack #3: Your fridge just gave away on your email password

A team of security researchers exposed a vulnerability in a smart fridge that could be exploited to steal Gmail users’ login credentials. How? In what is known as a man-in-the-middle attack, a cybercriminal can intercept communications passed over a compromised internet connection. In this case, the home network connected to the smart fridge would be vulnerable. According to news reports detailing the hack, a flaw in SSL integration could create an “opportunity for hackers to access the network and monitor activity for the user name and password used to link the refrigerator to Gmail.”

How can you mind security in the Internet of Things? Here are best practices to ensure your smart things are safe:

  • First, ensure that the network enabling your internet connected devices is secure. Don’t connect to open, public wi-fi. On your home network, be sure to enable password protected access. Always change the default password on an out-of-the box router.
  • Keep all operating systems on connected gadgets up-to-date.
  • Do your due diligence when it comes to shopping for “smart” gadgets. When you shop, shop for security.
  • Look into getting a more secure router. Using your own router can help you beef up your network security as well as cut down on costs on your Internet bill. Over the past year at Norton, we've been keeping a close eye on the Internet of things threat landscape. We are seeing that IoT devices are now being attacked on an average of every two minutes. As a result, we're proud to announce the brand new Norton Core router.

689 million people across 21 countries were the victims of cybercrime last year. Is your smart home leaving the door open?

Enter Norton Core - a new approach to home security. It revolutionizes online security by helping to protect your entire home network, not just specific devices.

Help protect your Wi-Fi network and the personal devices connected to that network, including all of your IoT devices.

Symantec Corporation, the world’s leading cyber security company, allows organizations, governments, and people to secure their most important data wherever it lives. More than 50 million people and families rely on Symantec’s Norton and LifeLock comprehensive digital safety platform to help protect their personal information, devices, home networks, and identities.

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