Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Connected devices have huge security holes: study

01 August 2014, 08:55

Washington -The surge Web-connected devices -- TVs, refrigerators, thermostats, door locks and more -- has opened up huge opportunities for cyberattacks because of weak security, researchers said Tuesday.

A study by the Hewlett-Packard security unit Fortify found 70 percent of the most commonly used "Internet of Things" devices contain vulnerabilities, including inadequate passwords or encryption, or lax access restrictions.

"While the Internet of Things will connect and unify countless objects and systems, it also presents a significant challenge in fending off the adversary given the expanded attack surface," said Mike Armistead, vice president and general manager for Fortify's enterprise security.

"With the continued adoption of connected devices, it is more important than ever to build security into these products from the beginning to disrupt the adversary and avoid exposing consumers to serious threats."

The study comes amid recent security warnings about hacking of medical devices, cars, televisions and even toilets that have an Internet connection.

The researcher scanned the most popular devices and their cloud components and found on average 25 vulnerabilities per device. These products included TVs, webcams, home thermostats, remote power outlets, sprinkler controllers, hubs for controlling multiple devices, door locks, home alarms, scales and garage door openers.

The study said eight of 10 devices tests leaked private information that could include the user's name, email address, home address, date of birth, credit card or health information.

Most of the devices lacked passwords, making it easier for hackers or others to gain access while some included simple default passwords such as "1234."

Some 70 percent of the devices analyzed failed to use encryption for communicating with the Internet and local network, another weakness that makes for easy outside access.

HP said that while demand for these devices is surging, security has failed to keep pace, and this "opens the doors for security threats" from a variety of sources.

The study said some estimates indicate as many as 26 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020.

"Fortunately, there's still time to secure devices before consumers are at risk," the report said.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...