Smart Hack: Smart Home Hub Vulnerable to Remote Attacks Due To Weak Credentials

Smart devices, like security cameras, baby monitors, TV media boxes, smart TVs, printers, and gaming consoles, are entering homes at a rapid pace and with them, vulnerabilities. These devices are vulnerable to attacks due to outdated software, unpatched security flaws and weak credentials.

Avast scanned more than 16 million smart home networks worldwide using Avast Wi-Fi Inspector and found that two out of five (40.8%) digital homes worldwide contain at least one device that is vulnerable to cyber attacks, which therefore puts the entire home at risk, out of which 69.2% are vulnerable due to weak credentials.

As discovered by Avast, out of all devices exposed directly to the Internet, routers are the ones most targeted because they're the ones which act as a central hub for all other Internet-connected electronics in smart homes.

Even though an increasing number of IoT devices in one's home is definitely not something to frown upon given the advantages they come with, the fact that their manufacturers don't or won't keep up with strong-enough security makes them a high-risk asset to have on one's home network.

The researchers said that there’s only so much that consumers and indeed manufacturers can do. Whether people are using their smart speakers to wake up in time for work, play music, or to buy items online, the truth is that these devices stream valuable personal data about the habits of the household. This makes them a very attractive target for cybercriminals who are constantly finding new ways to attack.

In a perfect world, IoT manufacturers would be working with security experts to ensure a security layer is included in their devices. For now, we can take action to protect the router in a smart home, which is often an overlooked device, capable of more than we might realize, more than just connecting our homes and devices to the internet.

Most IoT devices rely on network security, which means that everything and everyone on the same network can gain control or access to them. If a home router, for example, is hacked or poorly configured allowing attackers to get into a network, they can control most of the IoT devices connected to the network, especially as most IoT devices are also vulnerable. Consumers do have the means to change their router password and keep its firmware updated and these simple steps can ensure their smart home is immediately a safer place.