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Smart homes - opening doors to hackers?

Smart homes that let residents control alarms, locks and more over the internet are exposing their homes to a new type of burglar according to compute security specialists.

'The smart home trend is growing, and it evolves quickly into a story of security,' Trustwave managing consultant Daniel Crowley said.

'Connecting things to a network opens up a whole range of vectors of attack, and when you are talking door locks, garage doors, and alarm controls it gets scary.' Crowley and Trustwave colleague David Bryan found security 'pretty poor' on the home networking devices.

'If someone can access your home network, but doesn't have a key to your home, they can still unlock your door and get in,' Crowley said of what he found on the market.

A vulnerability of particular concern to the researchers was that once hackers joined local home networks, through poorly protected wireless routers or using malware, they could control devices with no authentication required.

'The fact that you need to be on someone's local network to exploit these things is not as big a hurdle as you'd imagine,' Crowley said. There are also ways to use 'IP' numbers to figure out realworld addresses, and some smart home applications reveal location information, according to Trustwave.

Combing that capability with hacking tools could put an internet age twist on home burglaries, the researchers said.

Trustwave researchers will share their findings with peers at a premier Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas today.

(Sapa-AFP)


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