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Privacy Tip #297 – Vulnerability in Smart Home Devices Including Baby Monitors

Mandiant, a division of FireEye, has reported that it has discovered a vulnerability in a software protocol that enables hackers to gain access to audio and visual data on smart devices including baby monitors and web cameras. The protocol was created by Taiwanese Internet of Things vendor ThroughTek, and is incorporated in as many as 83 million devices.

According to reports, ThroughTek has confirmed that it has notified customers of the vulnerability and information about mitigating the gap.

According to Mandiant, the threat actor could exploit the vulnerability to communicate directly with devices to plan and deploy subsequent attacks. Mandiant stated that the Department of Homeland Security would be issuing an alert to raise awareness of the issue.

It is difficult as a consumer to stay abreast of vulnerabilities in component parts of products that use other companies’ software. However, the security of the component parts is crucial to the security of the IoT device.

Mandiant suggests that users of IoT devices, including baby monitors, web cameras, home security systems, personal assistants, and basically anything else that uses the Internet, to update their software (also known as patching) as soon as you receive notice of a vulnerability. I would add to limit the use of IoT devices and to closely follow the device’s privacy policy and updates.

Copyright © 2021 Robinson & Cole LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 231
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About this Author

Linn F. Freedman, Robinson Cole Law Firm, Cybersecurity and Litigation Law Attorney, Providence
Partner

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation. She provides guidance on data privacy and cybersecurity compliance to a full range of public and private clients across all industries, such as construction, education, health care, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, utilities and critical infrastructure, marine, and charitable organizations. Linn is a member of the firm's Business Litigation Group and chairs its Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team. She is also a member of the Financial Services Cyber-Compliance Team (CyFi ...

401-709-3353
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