The Most Hackable Corporate Gifts This X-Mas

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 09, 2015

smartwatches

While the Christmas season brings bouquet of joy and laughter every year, with corporate buyers and shoppers looking for the latest and greatest tech gadgets to buy and gift, many of these connect to the Internet or other devices, putting them in the security spotlight. This year, everything from wearable fitness trackers to smartwatches, action cameras and drones — are appealing, not just for buyers, but to cybercriminals as well. In his latest blog post, Gary Davis, Chief Consumer Security Evangelist, Intel Security, shares how cybercriminals can compromise these and what consumers should keep in mind to keep their information safe. 

“Consumers are excited to immediately start using their new gadgets during the holidays and often don’t realize some of the potential security risks that make them vulnerable. Things as simple and seemingly safe as a Wi-Fi connection, Bluetooth and mobile payment apps can quickly become the weak link in personal security,” says Davis. 

Here’s a list of the most hackable corporate gifts this X-mas and how you can stay secure.

Smartwatches and fitness trackers

Smartwatches and fitness trackers have become tremendously popular over the last several years and are poised to generate major market sales this holiday season.

The real value of breaking into a wearable device is in its connection to a smartphone. With access to a smartphone, a hacker could potentially jump outside the wearable’s application and read emails, SMS or even install malicious software and mine the device for info like email addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, etc. that they can use for identity theft.

Smartphones and Tablets

With new models of smartphones and tablets being produced multiple times throughout the year, these devices make ideal gifts for friends and family who want the latest phone to support their on the go lifestyle.

Attackers can take control of Bluetooth and with some information and trickery, they can impersonate a Bluetooth device and use that to steal information, such as read text messages or dial a toll number impersonating your smart watch, or mine the device for info to steal your identity.

gary

Drones and camera-enabled devices

Cybercriminals could steal sensitive personal data from someone looking to connect to an open Wi-Fi network while a drone is flying overhead. This takes advantage of the fact that consumers are often willing to sacrifice security and privacy for the convenience of connecting to unsecured networks.

Among other attractive gifts employees bring home are e-books, social apps and remote control cars – kids love connecting with tech, and while one would hope that children’s toys are safe in every way, there are some safety concerns that parents should be aware of, especially when these gadgets have elements that involve Internet connections. In the past we have seen examples of people hacking into baby monitors or nanny cams.

Unfortunately with children’s gadgets and social apps, security is rarely thought about so it falls onto the parents to make sure their child’s latest toy isn’t broadcasting video or audio to unknown viewers, says Davis.

Davis mentions how to keep your gifted gadgets safer? Here are a few simple steps you can take:

Change default passwords. This is probably one of the best methods of better securing your devices this holiday season. By simply changing a device’s password to a complex one — at least eight characters in length with numbers, symbols and upper and lowercase letters — you’ll adopt a significantly improved security posture.

Keep software up to date. Smart devices almost always require routine software updates. Often, these updates include security fixes designed to protect you from cybercriminals. Always update your devices as soon as updates become available.

Protect your core devices. If a hacker takes over your drone or fitness tracker, you’ll want to keep them from accessing your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Security solutions can help protect your digital life from malicious software and activities, he says.