Computers and smartphones aren't the only gadgets in our lives in danger of getting hacked. Smart home security cameras, children's toys and even our routers, the device that takes us on the internet, are all vulnerable. However, that doesn't seem to be deterring people from buying connected devices.
We like these smart speakers, robot vacuums and video doorbells so much, that the smart home market is expected to hit $53.6 billion by 2022 (up from $24.1 billion in 2016), according to insurance company Assurant.
As we bring more connected products into our home in the coming new year, it's helpful to take steps to protect smart home devices from online attackers, the best that we can. Here are some famous hacks — and what consumers can do to try and thwart these attacks.
Smart thermostat in a casino fish tank
It may sound like a plot from an Ocean's Eleven reboot, but in April this year a vulnerability discovered in the thermostat of a casino fish tank gave jackers access to its high-roller database. The offending piece of supposedly smart tech was used to regulate water temperature of an aquarium installed in the lobby. But its internet connection - the same connection casino staff probably thought was a useful feature when installing the thermostat - presented hackers with an open pathway to the business's servers.
Internet of Things (IoT) devices like this thermostat tend to have relatively poor security compared to other web-connected devices like your smartphone and laptop. Their makers don't always expect seemingly uninteresting devices to fall into hacker's crosshairs, but when hooked up to a network shared by more valuable devices (like servers), they become an easy target.
To help protect your network against these sorts of attacks - whether that network is at home or a part of your business - you should consider a router built especially to protect IoT devices. The CUJO, for example, acts as a firewall to keep your IoT devices protected by attaching to your existing router, while D-Link partnered with McAfee to product the AC2600, a router with IoT and smart home security in mind.