How Do You Hack People – We hired an ethical hacker to hack our family’s smart home: Here’s how it ended | new stress
The Science Market We Hired Ethical Hackers to Hack Your Family’s Smart Home: Here’s What Happened
How Do You Hack People
Whether it’s for security, convenience or entertainment, millions of Canadians are automating their homes with the latest smart home devices. But a Marketplace analysis reveals it could come at a cost.
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A Marketplace investigation found footage from hundreds of unsecured security cameras in Canadian homes and businesses streaming live online. (Greg Sadler/)
All it takes is a white van, a group of three hackers and a phishing email to remotely open the door for Johanna Kenwood and Peter Yarema.
The couple’s home in Oakville, Ontario is automated with a variety of smart devices, including lights, thermostats, security cameras and doorknobs.
And the couple enjoys the “convenience” of an automated home, Yarema said, for “simpler things,” like when your hands are full and you need a light.
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They are not alone. According to Orbis research, the global smart home industry is expected to grow by more than 300% by 2023.
Studies have shown that this convenience can come at a cost to your privacy, especially if you don’t know how to properly secure these devices.
Three teams from Scalar Decisions, usually hired to analyze the security of complex IT systems, were hired by Marketplace and asked to test the security of the family’s smart home. ()
Safety was a big consideration for Kenwood and Yarema when shopping for their equipment. So the pair were surprised at how easily the ethics team, or “white hats”, hired hackers
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Typically brought in to test the security of complex computing systems, the Scalar Decisions team was asked to test the security of the family’s smart home.
Are smart home devices vulnerable to hackers? Earlier, Marketplace’s Makda Ghebreslassie and security expert Theo Van Wyk answered your questions.
Sitting in a van on the street, Scalar’s team managed to crack the family’s Wi-Fi password in less than two hours. The same password was used to adjust the thermostat, allowing them to turn the heat all the way up or down.
The hackers then proceeded to the family’s door. Using sophisticated phishing emails, ethical hackers managed to trick Kenwood into giving them his home login information.
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Families use the Wink Connected Home Hub, which allows them to control lights and the front door from a smartphone app.
After receiving the email, Kenwood thought he had logged into Wink’s website, but gave the password to the hackers. The couple were able to open the front door and enter the home after their account was fully credited.
This password was used by Kenwood on other accounts, including the family’s Nest security camera, which allowed the team to log in and see what was going on in the home.
This guy didn’t know his private life was posted online 4 years ago. Duration 1:22 Marketplace monitors homeowners with unsecured security cameras broadcasting live on the Internet.
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And it gave hackers the ability to send voice commands to the couple’s Amazon Echo, allowing them to place Amazon orders using Kenwood’s stored credit card information.
“It’s scary that they have access to so many devices,” Kenwood said. “This is our house … we have children here.”
After finding out how their smart home was hacked, the family’s first step was to “unlock the Wi-Fi,” Yarema said.
Reusing the same password for multiple accounts, something many of us can be guilty of, has made the family home insecure, says Arsenii Pustovit, leader of Scalar’s ethical hacking team.
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Since most of us struggle to remember multiple passwords, he recommends using something called a password manager. It generates complex passwords for each of your online accounts, but you only need to remember one password, for the administrator, to unlock them all.
Another tip is to use phrases by chaining three or four words together, creating longer codes that you can still easily remember.
And “beware of phishing,” warns Pustovit. Hackers can often send very convincing emails asking you to provide a username and password.
Check to see if the email is from an address the company used to contact you, advises Pustovit.
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If companies like Nest and Wink had required two-step verification, he says his team wouldn’t have been able to easily access family cameras or unlock their doors.
Two-step verification ensures that you cannot access your account from a trusted device. If someone tries to access your new device, a code is automatically sent to a trusted device, such as your phone. Without this code, hackers cannot access your account, even with your password.
The global industry for smart home devices, like this Amazon Echo speaker, is expected to grow more than 300% by 2023. (Norm Arnold/)
In response, Wink said it was taking “quick steps” to implement two-step verification. Meanwhile, Nest and Amazon say they already offer two-step verification, but users need to turn that feature on.
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These extra layers of security are especially important for “critical” technology, Pustovit says, like your email, smart locks or security cameras.
And the Internet-connected camera opens a window into the lives of thousands of people around the world, sometimes strangers.
A website called Insecam, believed to be hosted in Russia, streams live video from thousands of cameras that still use factory-set passwords, often unknown to camera owners.
The site made headlines last year when it was found to have posted detailed photos of students inside a Nova Scotia school, prompting an investigation by the province’s privacy officer.
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Marketplace found nearly 300 streams from Canada’s security cameras live online, including apparently private moments in people’s homes and parks. (insecam.org)
You can see the family in the kitchen and bedroom, or relax by the pool. There were small children playing in his garden.
The page searches for unsecured cameras that have not been modified by the user by setting default access permissions. It allows users to filter feeds by country, time zone or camera manufacturer.
Ethical hackers take control of family’s smart home devices in hours 4 years ago Length 0:46 Marketplace hires three ‘White Hat’ hackers to find flaws in smart home installations – Family Mind .
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The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada threatened site owners with “enforcement action” in 2014 if they continued to expose Canadians to private sites without their knowledge.
The agency told the privacy commissioner the case was still ongoing, saying it was “considering next steps” and blamed camera manufacturers, saying it needed to “continue to build privacy protections.”
Insecam says its staff “go to great lengths” to filter cameras that show certain locations, and Canadians can ensure their cameras never gain access to their sites simply by setting a password.
Although an IP address can provide an approximate area, it is impossible for most cameras to find an exact location. But the license plates found in the two streams allowed Marketplace to find the names of the car’s owners and trace them back to two addresses in Ontario.
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“It’s very frustrating and confusing, I’m not going to lie,” said one owner, who did not want to be named. “It’s the secret that my house was attacked… I don’t know how you can justify it.”
Johanna Kenwood and Peter Yarema, pictured here with three ethical hackers, said security is top of mind when shopping for a smart device. (Lucas Denne/)
Both owners bought cameras from OOSSXX: a Chinese manufacturer that only sells on Amazon. The system consists of four or more cameras that are wirelessly connected to a network video recorder (NVR) that is connected to the Internet.
Bought my own OOSSXX camera and found that the username for the NVR is “admin”, no password. This means you can search and view OOSSXX cameras where the default login information has not changed. The camera manual also does not warn users that others can access the camera without setting up their own password.
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Both owners said they thought their cameras were password protected, as a password is required for the mobile app. But this password only protects the app and leaves the NVR unprotected.
Feeds from many other camera brands were also available on the same site, including companies such as Panasonic, Axis and Vivotek.
Panasonic says it acknowledges there are issues with cameras with default permissions. To remedy this, the company now forces users to create a strong password during setup. How To Hack People On Roblox? (2022) Can and Should You Hack Someone Else’s Roblox Account? This is what you need to know.
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