Vulnerabilities / Threats

2/4/2019
04:30 PM
Steve Zurier
Steve Zurier
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

6 Security Tips Before You Put a Digital Assistant to Work

If you absolutely have to have Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant in your home, heed the following advice.
Previous
1 of 7
Next

Image Source: Adobe Stock: bht2000

Image Source: Adobe Stock: bht2000

Experienced security pros like Amy DeMartine simply won't allow a digital assistant into her home.

DeMartine, a principal analyst who serves security and risk professionals for Forrester, says last year's reports of so-called "voice squatting" (aka "skill squatting") – where attackers create malicious Amazon Alexa "skills" that appear to be legitimate applications – has her thinking twice about any of these digital assistants. 

"People have to decide what their risk threshold is and configure Alexa or any other digital assistant accordingly," DeMartine says.

According to Candid Wueest, senior principal threat researcher at Symantec, consumers should start by asking the following questions: Do I really need the device, and, if so, what do I need it for? Do I want the device to have a camera to check in on my dog, or am I OK with no camera? And since I already have several devices in my home, do I want to stick with one brand because it's easier to integrate?

Another $64 million question, and this is the big one: Do I trust the vendor?

"This is not an easy one to answer, but, ultimately, you have to trust that the vendor will safeguard your data," Wueest says. 

So if you absolutely have to have Alexa or Google Assistant in your home, heed the following advice from DeMartine, Wueest and Jessica Ortega, a website security research analyst at SiteLock. And if you're a security pro, be sure to educate your customers, too.  

 

Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience, most of the last 24 of which were spent covering networking and security technology. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio

Previous
1 of 7
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
michaelmaloney
50%
50%
michaelmaloney,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/21/2019 | 1:24:26 AM
Too complacent too dangerous
Sometimes consumers are just too complacent about the ready benefits that are being laid out in front of them. Every individual surely knows how to take advantage of each and every single one of them without considering the possible implications underneath. They are willing to forgo any potential risks because somehow the era of IT today has given them the trust they need.
NathanDavidson
50%
50%
NathanDavidson,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/19/2019 | 1:50:29 AM
Beware the Coming of the Robot Age
I would g et an Alexa or AI for the house just to test it out and have a little bit of fun with it. But I'm also a little worried what might happen if I really leave the management of my house up to this little device. It's not so much about the security of it, but about the age of the robots and all that! Haha!
t_madison
50%
50%
t_madison,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/18/2019 | 3:26:51 AM
Good advice
Thanks for the advice, it is very useful.
jgallman
50%
50%
jgallman,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/8/2019 | 9:23:31 AM
Grammar please!
You lose me when the very first sentence is as poorly constructed as this one is.  Her should be their.
Russia Hacked Clinton's Computers Five Hours After Trump's Call
Robert Lemos, Technology Journalist/Data Researcher,  4/19/2019
Tips for the Aftermath of a Cyberattack
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/17/2019
Why We Need a 'Cleaner Internet'
Darren Anstee, Chief Technology Officer at Arbor Networks,  4/19/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
5 Emerging Cyber Threats to Watch for in 2019
Online attackers are constantly developing new, innovative ways to break into the enterprise. This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at five emerging attack trends and exploits your security team should look out for, along with helpful recommendations on how you can prevent your organization from falling victim.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-7303
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-23
A vulnerability in the seccomp filters of Canonical snapd before version 2.37.4 allows a strict mode snap to insert characters into a terminal on a 64-bit host. The seccomp rules were generated to match 64-bit ioctl(2) commands on a 64-bit platform; however, the Linux kernel only uses the lower 32 b...
CVE-2019-7304
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-23
Canonical snapd before version 2.37.1 incorrectly performed socket owner validation, allowing an attacker to run arbitrary commands as root. This issue affects: Canonical snapd versions prior to 2.37.1.
CVE-2019-0223
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-23
While investigating bug PROTON-2014, we discovered that under some circumstances Apache Qpid Proton versions 0.9 to 0.27.0 (C library and its language bindings) can connect to a peer anonymously using TLS *even when configured to verify the peer certificate* while used with OpenSSL versions before 1...
CVE-2017-12619
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-23
Apache Zeppelin prior to 0.7.3 was vulnerable to session fixation which allowed an attacker to hijack a valid user session. Issue was reported by "stone lone".
CVE-2018-1317
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-23
In Apache Zeppelin prior to 0.8.0 the cron scheduler was enabled by default and could allow users to run paragraphs as other users without authentication.