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Cyber Security: Alexa & Google Home

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, September 11, 2018


Smart home technology is worrisome to cyber security experts. It’s pretty easy for bad guy players to attack your now web-connected refrigerator, microwave oven or any number of other items in your well-connected home.

Two forms of technology aren’t a worry to former NSA hacker Jake Williams. The one-time hacker has since left government and founded the info security firm Rendition Infosec. Williams said the fastest growing areas of smart home technology is Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home. More and more they’re being tasked with running household items.

You’d think that makes them a major-league target for hackers. Williams says yes they are but no they aren’t. And the reason they aren’t is because both companies work hard at making the products secure.

“Would-be attackers don’t care what you’re talking about at home. They’re looking to monetize data,” he said and added there is more data to be had getting to your bank account than these two products.

In fact, getting to that bank account or to those important passwords and account information is much easier via your laptop or smartphone. There’s a lot of software installed on them that is used on a daily basis. Most of us don’t do the regularly recommended software security checks.

Nor do we often make sure software we download is from a trustworthy site.

Smart speakers — as he calls Alexa and Google Home — do not work the same way. The first way they work is impossible to hack because it’s your voice giving a command. The second is the servers at Google or Amazon.

They’re very secure.

Williams said Alexa Skills is one possible target area and is one that the user needs be careful with. The skills you download to Alexa need to be from — much emphasis here — a trusted source.

The security system you need to use — Williams adds — is one that enables a multi-factor authentication and sets up sets up full encryption. This is especially important for phones and laptops.

Source link: Digital Trends

Tags:  cyber security experts  PIA Western Alliance  Smart home  technology 

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