Every parents’ worst nightmare and why manufacturers need to hire ethical hackers
Security cameras, baby monitors – these devices are supposed to give parents peace of mind, an added layer of protection, a means to conveniently watch over or connect with their children remotely. Supposed to, but so often don’t as our hackers have learned through countless intrusions into home surveillance technology. In a what can be described as nothing less than spine-chilling, this video, shared online by one mother in the US, shows a malicious hacker talking to her eight-year-old daughter through a Ring security camera in her daughters’ bedroom. He pretends to be Santa Claus, offering to be her friend, while the girl, visibly frightened, begins calling for her mommy.
At Hacker House we are constantly calling for the manufacturers of smart devices to wake up to the inherent security flaws in their products. Simply said, when it comes to security, most devices are anything but smart. Unfortunately, millions upon millions of vulnerable products continue to be churned out every year, entering homes, offices, schools, and every other kind of ‘safe’ space (smart phones, watches, baby monitors, coffee machines, surveillance, security checkpoints, siri, apps, Alexa, cars… the list goes on). More devices, ‘smarter’ every day, means more data. And more data means more holes, more points of entry for malicious hackers.
Perhaps manufacturers are unaware of, or feel overwhelmed by, the risks. More likely they have simply chosen to ignore them (security investment impacts profit margins, after all). But they won’t be able to do that for long; Ring is facing a PR nightmare right now as parents across the world begin to question the safety of the smart products they buy and choose to vote with their feet. And as more incidents of malicious hacking such as this one arise (thankfully the video has now gone viral) manufacturers will take more responsibility. They will have to.
And this is where ethical hackers come in. Cyber security, as an industry, is failing to keep up with the demand for InfoSec professionals. Traditional training is expensive, outdated, inconvenient and too corporate. The industry needs a new approach if it is to meet the needs and demands of modern cyber security.
We believe at Hacker House that hacking must be part of the solution to the problem of malicious attacks. This is why we teach ethical hacking. This is why we show students what and how malicious hackers work. It’s also why our training is online, easily accessible, completely self-paced and available at a fraction of the cost of traditional InfoSec training – it needs to be, because that is the only way to stay one step ahead of the adversaries.