Amazon’s smart doorbell ring is vulnerable to cyberthreats
According to the software company Bitdefender, the smart doorbell device called Ring, an Amazon product, sends out its owners’ Wi-Fi password in plaintext as it tries to join the home’s network. This means that potential wrongdoers could easily intercept the signal and grant access to said network.
A home network that becomes compromised can lead to massive problems, especially if the home is equipped with other smart home devices. Once hackers have access to the network, it becomes much easier to set up data surveillance and intercept sensitive information, such as bank credentials. In a separate study meant to test system vulnerability that was done on a smart home hub, researchers were able to gain access to the house by unlocking a smart lock that was connected to the same network as the hub.
As smart home devices gain popularity, it appears that the number of vulnerabilities increases as well. As the convenience that is brought about by such devices grows, so do the problems associated with them. Although Ring doorbells received a patch from Amazon that fixed the devices’ unsecure password problem back in September, the problem itself was revealed to the public only today.
Although Amazon’s device screaming the Wi-Fi password for all to hear might have flew under the radar, Ring, and Amazon as a whole, was criticized for other reasons. The smart doorbell has been accused of being a tool for building “Amazon’s surveillance empire,” according to the campaign Fight for the Future. The device is said to be have made deals with several hundred law enforcement agencies as part of their community watch program.