As more Americans buy into smart technology around the home, hackers are using your refrigerator and thermostat to tap into bank statements and other personal information.
Ellen Sundra, vice president of global systems engineering at cyber security firm Forescout, has identified 33 vulnerabilities dubbed “AMNESIA: 33,” in millions of smart devices such as virtual assistants, televisions, lightbulbs and others.
“Something that we're seeing that's really picking up during this holiday season are the smart plugs. The devices that plug into the wall that have USB as well as WiFi connectivity,” she says. “Many of these devices are vulnerable to these types of hacks.”
“Your refrigerator becomes a landing point for bad actors to come into your home and them move throughout your home. So if your refrigerator is connected to your home network and your laptop that you're doing banking or sensitive information, that's the real concern right there.”
Cyber security is costly, so these manufacturers skip it to quickly get their devices on store shelves.
“We need to demand more security and the way we do that is with our purchasing power,” says Sundra. “As you go out and find those devices, using devices, going toward vendors who have a strong security statement is going to drive change in the industry.”
Sundra urges online shoppers to be extra careful, even if you're doing it from your own home.