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
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-2019-11537
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-25
In osTicket before 1.12, XSS exists via /upload/file.php, /upload/scp/users.php?do=import-users, and /upload/scp/ajax.php/users/import if an agent manager user uploads a crafted .csv file to the User Importer, because file contents can appear in an error message. The XSS can lead to local file inclu...
CVE-2019-9669
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-25
The Wordfence plugin 7.2.3 for WordPress allows XSS via a unique attack vector.
CVE-2018-12244
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-25
SEP (Mac client) prior to and including 12.1 RU6 MP9 and prior to 14.2 RU1 may be susceptible to a CSV/DDE injection (also known as formula injection) vulnerability, which is a type of issue whereby an application or website allows untrusted input into CSV files.
CVE-2018-18286
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-25
SQL injection vulnerabilities in CMG Suite 8.4 SP2 and earlier, could allow an unauthenticated attacker to conduct an SQL injection attack due to insufficient input validation for the changepwd interface. A successful exploit could allow an attacker to extract sensitive information from the database...
CVE-2019-9137
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-25
DaviewIndy 8.98.7 and earlier versions have a Integer overflow vulnerability, triggered when the user opens a malformed Image file that is mishandled by Daview.exe. Attackers could exploit this and arbitrary code execution.