Check Point, LG Identify Smart Appliance Security Flaw

While smart home appliances continue to enter the market, concerns over security and privacy have not waned. The latest example of smart home vulnerabilities within the housewares industry involved LG Electronics’ robotic vacuums and other smart home appliances.

Security researchers at Check Point Software Technologies, a provider of cyber security solutions, discovered a vulnerability that exposed users of LG SmartThinQ smart home devices to the risk of unauthorized remote control of their smart home appliances, the company said.

The vulnerability gave attackers the potential to spy on users’ home activities via LG’s Hom-Bot robot vacuum cleaner video camera, which sends live video to the associated LG SmartThinQ app as part of its HomeGuard Security feature. Depending on the LG appliances in the owner’s home, attackers could also impact smart refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers and air conditioners.

“As more and more smart devices are being used in the home, hackers will shift their focus from targeting individual devices to hacking the apps that control networks of devices. This provides cyber criminals with even more opportunities to exploit software flaws, cause disruption in users’ homes and access their sensitive data,” said Oded Vanunu, head of products vulnerability research at Check Point. “Users need to be aware of the security and privacy risks when using their IoT devices and it’s essential that IoT manufacturers focus on protecting smart devices against attacks by implementing robust security during the design of software and devices.”

Since the findings, LG Electronics said it teamed with Check Point Software Technologies to run an advanced rooting process designed to detect security issues and immediately began updating patch programs, according to Koonseok Lee, manager of the smart development team, smart solution BD, LG Electronics.

“As part of LG Electronics’ mission to enhance the lives of consumers worldwide, we are expanding our next-generation smart home appliance lineup, while also prioritizing the development of safe and reliable software programs,” said Lee. “LG Electronics plans to continue strengthening its software security systems as well as work with cyber-security solution providers like Check Point to provide safer and more convenient appliances.”