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70% of U.S. consumers worry about being hacked via smart home devices: Survey

70% of U.S. consumers worry about being hacked via smart home devices: Survey
Around 70% of consumers are worried that hackers will intrude their privacy via connected home devices, according to a survey published by iQor, a managing service provider.

Older generations have greater concerns than the younger ones. According to the survey, four out of five baby boomers have this fear, while millennials show 17% less concern on this issue.

Millennials grew up in an environment filled with digital applications and social media, so they have less concern about privacy. However, around half of the millennial respondents did show concerns on connected devices listening to their conversations.

“Millennials have different use cases for smart home technology, so it’s not so much one generation being more open to smart home technology but the priorities around types of products and perceived value of those solutions,” said Autumn Braswell, COO of iQor, to Electronics360.

Meanwhile, another security report from security company ESET points out security issues with Amazon Alexa-enabled devices.

“A service that acts as a conduit to all other devices and then stores the interactions with them, potentially creates a single treasure chest for a cybercriminal,” said ESET researchers. “Neither the reputation of the device nor Amazon’s services are in questions, but a smart hacker trying to harvest personal data for identity theft could create a spear-phishing attack on individuals to gain access to their Amazon accounts.”

ESET conducted a series of security checks on several popular smart home devices, including Amazon Echo, home hub and cameras from D-Link, Netamto’s weather station, Sono’s speaker, the smart plug from TP-Link and body cardio scale from Nokia.

The team found out that each of the tested devices had either security or privacy vulnerabilities. Recently cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab has also discovered a plethora of flaws in an unnamed smart hub. It’s not hard to see that smart home hub could be a hacker’s target. Nonetheless, many manufacturers still are not focusing on improving security to protect smart home users.

“Companies that do not ‘build security in’ as part of their development processes will suffer the consequences of brand-damaging reports like this, or worse – they will likely go out of business,” said Christopher Littlejohns, the EMEA manager of IT security firm Synopsys.

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