Altroconsumo sounds the alarm about the risks to our privacy and the IT security of our homes† Controllers are smart devices, smart devices and devices that are connected to the internet. Here, below, what he writes Other consumption†
«Smart TVs, cameras, locks, lighting and alarm systems are now increasingly popular devices in consumers’ homes: comfortable and practical because they can be easily managed remotely via smartphone.
However, its undeniable practicality does not eliminate the privacy and security risks that users face. In many cases, smart devices still have vulnerabilities. The results of the project confirm this “hackable house”, made in Italy by Other consumption and promoted at European level by consumer organizations gathered in the Euroconsumers cluster: with the support of university researchers who are experts in cybersecurity, who have taken on the role of real hackers, the security and reliability of 16 devices “Intelligent” for household use (including: alarm systems, Wi-Fi routers, baby monitors, smart TVs, etc.) from the main brands on the market of the four European countries concerned, namely Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Italy† After conducting a similar test in 2018, the results have not changed significantly.
Several security vulnerabilities remain in most devices that we use at home: out of 16 of these, 10 were found to have unencrypted communications, or at least not adequately, which protects the privacy and security of user data. This is a vulnerability labeled as “very serious” or “critical”.
Among the numerous weaknesses highlightedthe most common (and also the most risky) are:
- the “the WiFi authentication””Which allows expert hackers to disconnect the device by turning off the internet;
- the ability to expose sensitive data to breaches from users, due to hardware structural problems;
- factory settings unsafe, especially for the crackability of preset passwords.
“There is no doubt that the internet of things be a great opportunity. To be able to do that, however, consumers must be guaranteed that security and privacy are protected: all the more so in a place that is, by definition, and must remain intimate and protected, such as the home. Only in this way will the risks be mitigated and the benefits expected from this technological evolution, which can never really develop without the trust of people, will be reaped. † commented Federico Cavallo, External Relations Manager of Altroconsumo.
“The situation is worrying and manufacturing companies in particular need to do more. – continues – It is necessary to ensure that IoT devices are ‘secure by design’ before they go to market, both in hardware and software, by implementing encryption and, for example, two-factor authentication where possible. And then we have to ensure that this feature is maintained over time, with constant, timely and effective updates in light of the rapid evolution of technology and of the risks themselves. Online sales platforms must also take responsibility and put in place procedures to identify and collect hazardous devices. No one should berate themselves when it comes to physical or digital security. †
“Together with manufacturers and e-commerce platforms, we are also addressing national and EU institutions and asking them to keep their focus and hope for new rules that introduce a set of minimum requirements for devices on the market, extending the consumer’s right to receipt of correct information in this area as well and options for redress in the event of abuse. As a consumer organization, we are and are ready to do our part to contribute to this common goal that is close to people’s hearts. † concludes”.