Is Your Ring Device Making Your Home Less Safe?

MakeUseOf | 1/21/2020 | Georgina Torbet
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Home security products like smart doorbells and security cameras are getting more popular, especially those produced by Amazon’s Ring. But these products have been in the spotlight for causing security issues too. Here we’ll show you some of the ways that Ring devices can be a security problem.

End - Amazon - Ring - Smart - Doorbells

At the end of 2019, Amazon’s Ring smart doorbells and home security cameras made headlines. A group of customers in California sued the company after hackers attacked their Ring devices. The customers said they had experienced hackers using the devices’ two-way voice communication in appropriate ways. Customers heard the hackers yelling racist obscenities, threatening their lives, and in one case even taunting a young child.

Ring’s defense was that its security cameras were not actually hacked. This is true. What had happened is that hackers used login information found online to access the Ring devices. At some point, the customers must have reused usernames and passwords across multiple sites, including Ring. Then, when one of their logins was compromised, the hackers were able to use that same information to access their Ring devices.

Fairness - Ring - Security - Advice - Customers

In fairness to Ring, it is standard security advice that customers should not reuse passwords for multiple sites. Because it can lead to just this sort of event. However, the incident still raises serious security concerns.

There are two reasons this is so worrying. Firstly, smart cameras have access to a huge amount of very personal data. Having a Ring device hacked is not the same as having your email address leaked online. That is annoying, but manageable. Hackers accessing Ring devices can see into users’ homes in real time. They can use the voice system to send threatening messages. They could observe children, which parents...
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