SMART HOME SURGERY
YOUR CONNECTED HOME QUERIES ANSWERED BY T3’ S EXPERTS
Our panel of connnected home experts are here to answer your questions
SIMON W., BRISBANE
Is my home more hackable with smart home tech? CHRIS HASLAM REPLIES… In a word, yes. You see, any network-connected smart gadget or home appliance that uses pin codes and passwords is susceptible. A recent project by the University of Michigan and Microsoft found it was possible to do all sorts to Samsung’s SmartThings server, such as opening smart locks through malware and app weaknesses.
The potential for IoT hackers is enormous, but if you treat your smart home kit in the same way you do your internet and banking security – so time to change that 1234 pin, people! – you will be safe enough. Apple’s Home Kit data, for instance, is tied to your iCloud account, which never uses a default password, plus Apple vets and reviews the security of all devices before they get approval anyway. Similarly, Netatmo uses all sorts of super top-level encryption, including AES 256-bit and Transport Layer Security (TLS).
As with anything connected, the most important thing you can do is to set strong (and unique!) passwords for all devices, including your router; always change them from the default settings and buy gear from bigger, more established IoT brands. It’s also important to keep the software and associated apps updated.
We’re not overly concerned by smart home hacking and have yet to see much point in hacking a stranger’s heating or remotely commandeering their robot vacuum. But the thought of someone spying on a video baby monitor, however unlikely, creeps us out.