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.
Google Home and Chromecast
Earlier in 2018, security researcher Craig Young discovered that the Google Home smart speaker and Chromecast media streaming device would give away their precise location to whoever asked, via a malicious link.
Young found that, if the link was opened by the intended target, the precise location of any Google Home or Chromecast on the same Wi-Fi network would be revealed to the sender of the link. This meant the sender could discover the target's exact street address, leading to the potential for robbery, or more location-based hacking.
Knowing the target's exact address could make phishing and extortion attacks appear more realistic, cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs said at the time. Thankfully, a software update was released by Google this summer, which again shows how it is important to keep your devices up-to-date.
Young suggested this kind of attack can be prevented, or at least mitigated against, by connecting your smart home and IoT devices to a different Wi-Fi network to that used by your laptop.