New studies show that smart homes at increased risk of cyber attacks

Cyber Attack Smart Home

A smart home consists of various gadgets connected to the internet of things (IoT), each with its own set of capabilities. Regardless of how unique these gadgets are, they all have the objective of expediting processes and simplifying the lives of their users. They provide an appealing impression of comfort and ease when viewed as a whole. However, just as these technologies have changed home life, they have also introduced new security concerns.

Here’s a rundown of potential attack scenarios for various smart home devices, along with security recommendations.

A smart home’s interior

Users of a smart home can use a smartphone app or a web interface to monitor their houses in real-time. They can also do things like talk to their kids through a smart toy or activate a smart lock for a trusted friend from afar.

Smart home devices offer automated and connected activities that can make customers’ lives simpler. The smart coffee machine, for example, starts brewing before the users need to get ready for work in the morning. If the essential items have not yet been ordered, the smart refrigerator will alert them that they are running low on supplies. As people go out the door, the smart lock automatically locks behind them. The clever robot vacuum cleaner starts cleaning the vacant house according to its schedule.

Those mentioned above and many other scenarios are conceivable if consumers have adequate control and visibility over the smart home gadgets they have installed. However, difficulties occur if malevolent actors gain power and visibility, which is undisclosed to the users.

Compromised gadgets in a smart home

Existing vulnerabilities, inadequate configuration, and the use of default passwords are just a few of the variables that can let a hacker compromise at least one smart home device. Additionally, once a single device has been hacked, hackers can perform various activities depending on the device’s capabilities and functions.

Let’s start with the smart lock on the front door, which, if hacked, may give a hacker complete control over who enters and exits the property Letting in the intruders while keeping the occupants out.

If a smart speaker, which acts as a conduit for speech-activated home automation instructions, is hacked, hackers will be able to give their voice commands.

Hackers may successfully hack smart fridges and coffee machines. The smart refrigerator may report incorrect expiration dates or conduct an online purchase for large quantities of food. Similarly, the smart coffee maker might continue to brew needlessly at any moment.

Smart bathroom gadgets, such as smart toilets, may be hacked to keep the toilet flushing and allowing the water to run indefinitely.

Smart lights put around the house that switches on and off according to the time of day, amount of movement or ambient light sensors can be hacked to turn on and off at inconvenient times.

Hackers may obtain information about the design of a home through smart robot vacuum cleaners that can move around the house. 

The home gateway, or the point where smart devices are linked, may potentially be diverted or changed to benefit the hacker. It shows that anything connected to the smartphone network may be just as valuable to a savvy hacker as it is to the owner.

Keeping smart devices safe

These examples demonstrate how thoroughly the Internet of Things has been intertwined into people’s lives, rather than just explaining what hackers can do with smart gadgets. With an IoT gadget for every area in the house, cyberthreats have perhaps never been more intrusive and intimate than in smart homes.

It’s all the more incentive for consumers to protect their smart home‘s IoT gadgets. Users may take the following security precautions to prevent and defend their smart homes against IoT device attacks:

  • All linked devices are to be mapped. All devices linked to the network, whether at home or work, should be appropriately documented. It’s essential to keep track of their preferences, passwords, firmware versions, and the latest fixes to assist users in determining the security precautions they should take and which equipment may need to be replaced or upgraded.
  • Users should change default settings and passwords to match with a higher level of security and keep updating them to avoid force attacks and unauthorized access.
  • Users must address vulnerabilities. Patching may be a complicated process, especially for businesses. However, it is critical to apply fixes. In addition, patches may disrupt some users’ routine procedures, in which case virtual patching may be an alternative.
  • Use network segmentation to your advantage by segregating potentially problematic devices that you can’t take offline to avoid the spread of attacks.

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