CentrexIT Eric Rockwell’s expert advise on preventing electronic device vulnerability both at work and at home.
Q:VTech experienced a hack into their children’s electronic toys late last year, which allowed kids to take pictures, play games, and send messages. What type of attack occurred and how did it happen?
A:I would call this attack a Vulnerability Attack. The hacker found a vulnerability in the companies photo board and was able to retrieve information from hundreds of consumers.
Q: What type of consumer data was accessible through the hack?
A: The attack that occurred is a great example of the overall danger that consumers face. Devices that connect to the internet, we truly have no idea of what is secure and what is not secure. The data that was compromised through the hack was: photos (adult and children photos), logins, passwords, security questions to retrieve passwords, home IPN addresses, videos, home addresses, and credit card information.
Q: What types of devices are targets for Vulnerability attacks?
A: Anything that connects to the internet and has a camera is already compromised. With that said, it is extremely important that when a consumer purchases an electronic device, they should immediately scan the the item to make sure it doesn't have malware.
Q: What are some steps that a consumer can take to keep their devices at home and in the office environment from being vulnerable to a hack?
A: It is important not to assume that any company will give you 100% security. Cyber security is not a guarantee. Some things that consumers at home and at work should practice are: Do not use passwords for critical places in work places and vice versa. At home if a consumer is sent software updates or security updates it is important not to ignore those, look into them and update the device if necessary. As for a company, at the minimum they should be updating their security system quarterly.
As you can see, it does not matter if you are a child playing with an electronic device that connects to the internet, at home checking facebook, or the CEO of small or large business, anyone and everyone can be the subject of a vulnerability attack.