Thousands of security researchers from all over the world recently met in Las Vegas for the Black Hat Briefings, which was a six-day conference about information security. The conference has been convening annually for 19 years and this year the attendees learned about all the holes and glitches in devices we rely on every day, such as light bulbs and cars. Just last week we told you about a presentation from the conference that demonstrated the lack of security in bank cards with chips.
Our personal privacy and security are constantly at risk and many of those threats come from the services we use. One presentation from the conference demonstrated issues while using Wi-Fi during AirBnB stays. Large companies are also vulnerable to attacks from hackers, even Apple wants help with their security systems.
AirBnB is a company that allows you to rent vacation stays in other people's homes and it's challenging the hotel and resort industry. When guests stay in your home you can choose to provide them with access to your home Wi-Fi but you may not want to in an effort to prevent them from illegally downloading content. However, people can hack into your network by messing with your router; Jeremy Galloway, a speaker at the conference, says he was able to do so in five minutes.
Most people keep their routers in easy to reach places and Galloway says that's a problem. The hacker can simply stick a paperclip in the reset button and install new settings on the router. Then after the owners have left the vacation home, the hackers can watch the activity on the network from their own computer and even use the router's backup file to save information. They can also install malware on the device. To prevent this crime, Galloway says to hide your router. Click here to see what else he had to say about Wi-Fi security.
Apple's head of security engineering also made a presentation. Ivan Krstić announced that the tech company is starting a bounty program in September. A few select hackers will be invited to research problems with the security in their products. They could be rewarded up to $200,000 for finding vulnerabilities in their system.