If you’re in the market for an internet-connected garage door opener, doorbell, thermostat, security camera, yard irrigation system, slow cooker — or even a box of connected light bulbs — a new website can help you understand the security issues these shiny new devices might bring into your home.
Consumer-grade internet of things (IoT) devices aren’t exactly known for having tight security practices. To save purchasers from finding that out the hard way, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have done security assessments of representative devices, awarding scores ranging from 28 (an F) up to 100.
Their site, https://yourthings.info, shows rankings for 45 devices, though a total of 74 have been evaluated. That’s hardly a complete roundup of the tens of thousands of devices available, but the big idea behind the project is to help consumers understand important issues before connecting a new IoT helper to their home networks.
“A lot of people who purchase these devices don’t fully understand the risks associated with installing them in their homes,” said Omar Alrawi, a graduate research assistant at Georgia Tech. “We want to provide insight by providing security ratings for the devices we have tested.”
Voice-activated personal digital assistants are among the most common home IoT devices, but if not properly installed, they can provide unwanted access to the home networks to which they are connected, warned Manos Antonakakis, a cybersecurity researcher and associate professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Source: “Website rates security of Internet-connected devices”, John Toon, Research News, Georgia Institute of Technology