A cardiac device from St. Jude’s Medical was found to have vulnerabilities that could allow a hacker to access the device.
According to the FDA, once a hacker accessed the device, they could deplete the battery or even change pacing of the device.
The compromised devices were meant to monitor and control heart functions.
The security weakness occurred in the transmitter that reads the device’s data and St. Jude’s immediately released a software patch to fix the vulnerability.
But the fix might not be enough…
Because it didn’t address the biggest problem of the device using a universal code that could give hackers access.
Obviously this hack (and remaining breach) could have grave consequences to anyone relying on the device for their health.
And this is just one example of the many ways an internet-connected device could put your health at risk.
Of course, it’s just not medical devices that are at risk.
For instance, the majority of new TVs offer an internet connection. Truth is, these days, it’s hard to find one that doesn’t.
And some devices don’t even offer the option of not connecting to the internet.
So, whether you like it or not, some devices in your home may connect to the internet and make you vulnerable.
In fact, here are three common things in your home that can connect to the internet and open the door to hackers infiltrating your privacy and stealing your information.
Researchers with the software company Avast were able to hack into a home coffee maker.
To expose the vulnerabilities of the internet-connected device, researchers took control of the coffee maker and began brewing coffee.
In addition, they showed how it was possible to hack and trick the coffee maker into pouring hot water all over the place.
The coffee maker used to do this was internet-connected and controlled by a phone.
Robot vacuums such as the Roomba can help you clean hard-to-reach places.
To operate, these types of vacuums use LiDAR sensors.
LiDAR stands for Light Detection And Ranging.
This helps robot vacuums navigate around rooms and objects on the floor.
But, LiDAR can detect audio vibrations from laser sensors reflecting off the floor.
Which means that LiDAR technology could be hacked and used to listen in on conversations.
The brands most likely to be affected by this are cheaper versions of robot vacuums.
Most of the big-time manufacturers try to quickly address and fix the security weakness.
These days many toys can connect to the internet.
This allows parents to connect the toy and customize it to their child.
And they can also monitor what their kids are doing with their toys.
But hackers can take control of the toys and use them in devious ways…
For example, there is a doll called “My Friend Cayla.”
The doll is interactive and can recognize the child’s voice and use cameras and microphones to interact with the child.
The doll even asks children what their parent’s names are and where they live, which shares way too much information, and could put you and your family at risk.
That’s because the doll has an insecure Bluetooth device, and researchers say the doll can act like a concealed surveillance device.
Hackers can access the cameras and microphones, and can be used to listen and talk with the child or spy on the parents.
So, while smart devices have benefits, they can pose huge security risks.
The companies selling these products are more concerned about profit than security.
Whenever possible, use a VPN on your device, or set one up with your home internet router.
Also, use a strong password for all your connected devices.
If you choose to have devices connected to the internet in your home, just be aware of the risks, and use these tips to protect yourself.