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The Growing Cybersecurity Risk of 'smart' Homes

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The Internet of Things could leave homeowners vulnerable to security breaches.

Jason Hong, an associate professor of Human Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University, says many devices commonly in homes are now vulnerable to threats of malware and other security hacks.

Credit: R&D Magazine

In an interview, Carnegie Mellon University professor Jason Hong warns the connectivity of smart homes via Internet of Things (IoT) technologies could raise cybersecurity risks for homeowners.

"We can probably secure one or two [Internet-connected] devices, but if we have 10 or 20 or 50 it just becomes a nightmare to try to manage that many," Hong says.

He cites last year's malware infections of baby monitors and other IoT devices as illustrative of the threat, and he partly attributes the danger to manufacturers who override security considerations in favor of aesthetics and functionality.

Hong notes the most dangerous devices are those that can inflict physical harm if someone tampers with them.

"It's going to be pretty chaotic for the next 10 years or so while these standards are being rolled out, while legislation is being rolled out, and while a lot of software developers and researchers are trying to figure out how to do things better," Hong says.

From R&D Magazine
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