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Security & privacy

Hackers can take over your smart speakers

We have seen a lot of new threats with connected Internet of Things (IoT) home devices. It could be Wi-Fi security cameras or even children’s toys.

Hackers can get into many of them fairly easy as their security protocols are not as robust as your other devices might be. They use them as a way to launch DDoS attacks that can take out websites, infrastructure, or get deeper into your computer network.

But there’s a new threat coming from a different device.

Connected Home Speakers

Internet-connected home speakers have revolutionized whole home audio systems. In the past, you would have to run wires through walls and the ceilings costing a lot of money. Now you can just connect speakers to your Wi-Fi.

This is really helpful if you rent or plan on moving anytime in the future. You can still get the benefits of whole home audio without running all the wires. But that has created another device, connected to your network, that hackers can exploit.

And some of these devices are paired with streaming services that can have your personal info including location details. Another concern, a hacker could learn your daily habits. If you are asleep or away from home, you most likely won’t be playing any music.

Sonos and Bose systems are at risk

Security experts have found they can get into some Sonos Play:1 and Bose SoundTouch speakers. They were able to play sounds remotely into your home as well as get email addresses and approximate location data.

The researchers found some examples where people would hear strange noises like glass breaking followed by a baby crying. That would freak me out! It could make you think someone has broken into your home.

Another use hackers might have is to send you extremely targeted phishing emails. If they learn what music you like to play, they might start sending you malicious emails based on your favorite band.

Protect Yourself

The first thing to do whenever you get a new connected device is change the default password. Next, update it to make sure you have the latest security patches in case the manufacturer has fixed the security hole.

From your home router, you can check and see what devices have outside access. Allow as few as possible and only if necessary. If there is an option to turn on password protection, do it.

Sonos has said they have fixed the issue with an update, so make sure to get it. For Bose, it’s unclear if they have fixed their security issue.

Smart home security – How not to be dumb with your ‘IoT’ devices

Unfortunately, smart gadgets bring a security risk with them. Many smart gadgets ship with little to no encryption on communication, which lets hackers take them over or spy on them. Here are steps you need to take to protect yourself.

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