Security must be at the heart of the internet of things

Is your baby monitor leaking footage onto the internet?

A rather sobering fact from former NEXT conference speaker Cory Doctorow:

Researchers revealed ten major vulnerabilities in Internet-of-Things babycams from a variety of vendors ranging from spunky startups like Ibaby Labs to rock-ribbed (and deep-pocketed — attention, class actioneers!) giants like Philips.

There’s a deep irony to this: something that you buy to protect a vulnerable little human, actually exposes them to the eyes and ears of malicious people on the internet. As a parent of two children, one of them still very much a baby, this makes me deeply uncomfortable.

As we wire up more of our homes to the internet of things, getting this security right is going to be crucial.

As Cory points out:

Many of these cameras have no easy, networked means of getting a firmware update, either, making their zeroday bugs into foreverday bugs.

That’s shameful in a connected device.

Maybe the security-driven delays to Apple’s HomeKit were a good thing after all.

Cory Doctorow speaking at NEXT14