Why Ring Doorbells Perfectly Exemplify the IoT Security Crisis
Recently, there has been an influx of concerning news about how Amazon stores video surveillance data from its Ring smart doorbell systems, sparking concern among consumers and experts alike. This week, reports that hackers are breaking into users’ Ring accounts have emerged. When the hacker obtains access to the Ring account, they can view footage from indoor cameras and take over the devices. A news channel in Mississippi reported that hackers used a Ring camera placed in a bedroom to talk to three young girls. A podcast containing live audio from users’ Ring cameras has also been broadcasted recently.
However, hackers have launched similar attacks against other camera systems, including Nest cameras earlier this year. Incidents in which hackers gained access to Nest camera systems also included situations in which the hackers talked to children through the devices. Amazon and Google’s failure to secure the technology reflects a broader industry failure to make protecting consumer privacy a priority. Experts argue that the companies behind these camera systems have a moral obligation to educate users on good password hygiene and enabling two-factor authentication in order to halt these attacks. While Ring doorbells and indoor cameras will continue to prove genuinely useful, the sensitive data they generate raises concerns among experts.