- Indie game publisher announces Playdate, a console with a hand crank Wednesday 8:18 PM
- How to get The Sims 4 for free Wednesday 7:45 PM
- Trump’s Rose Garden podium sign is the perfect meme canvas Wednesday 7:34 PM
- Forest Whitaker to produce adaptation of novel ‘Hello, Universe’ for Netflix Wednesday 6:58 PM
- Baltimore still refuses to pay hackers who hit city with ransomware Wednesday 5:34 PM
- Net neutrality advocates slam ‘extremely troubling’ letter circulating among some House Dems Wednesday 4:52 PM
- Moms and grandmas are infiltrating TikTok Wednesday 4:35 PM
- Did Britain’s head Brexiter hide in a bus to avoid getting hit by a milkshake? Wednesday 4:26 PM
- This woman who thought she saw a handmaid about to jump from a building is very relieved Wednesday 4:18 PM
- Michael Avenatti allegedly defrauded Stormy Daniels to pay for a Ferrari Wednesday 3:53 PM
- HBO has no plans for an Arya Stark spinoff series Wednesday 3:28 PM
- Republicans and Democrats agree on dangers of facial recognition tech Wednesday 3:18 PM
- Amazon is using video games and ‘swag bucks’ to incentivize workers Wednesday 3:04 PM
- Here’s what’s coming and going on Netflix in June Wednesday 2:46 PM
- This Michael Jackson makeup meme is sweeping TikTok Wednesday 2:45 PM
Home assistant gets bricked… but Google says not so fast.
A smart home device developed by Google can be temporarily rendered inoperable with just a single line of code, a security advocate has revealed.
Jerry Gamblin, a self-described problem solver and hacker, outlined in a blog post this week just how easily Google’s Home Hub can be bricked.
After purchasing the home assistant, Gamblin says he discovered how to make the device forget all stored Wi-Fi connections, forcing it back to the setup screen.
“This command basically makes the device unusable until you manually reconfigure it using the Google Home application,” Gamblin wrote.
Another line of code, entered without needing any authentication, also forced the Home Hub to reboot.
— Jerry Gamblin (@JGamblin) October 27, 2018
Gamblin also crafted codes to erase certain settings, gather device info, and disable notifications.
“I am genuinely shocked by how poor the overall security of these devices are, even more so when you see that these endpoints have been known for years and relatively well documented,” Gamblin wrote.
A Google spokesperson, however, pushed back on Gamblin’s findings in a statement to CNET, arguing that an attacker would already have to be connected to your home Wi-Fi to deliver malicious code.
“All Google Home devices are designed with user security and privacy top of mind and use a hardware-protected boot mechanism to ensure that only Google-authenticated code is used on the device,” the statement said. “In addition, any communication carrying user information is authenticated and encrypted.”
Describing Gamblin’s findings as “inaccurate,” Google further stated that “Despite what’s been claimed, there is no evidence that user information is at risk.”
CNET says the findings point more to the importance of securing your home Wi-Fi than to issues surrounding digital home assistants.
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.