For some time now, we’ve been seeing a lot of things about hacking and people getting involved where they shouldn’t. From constant talk of political skulduggery and people coercing elections to hacks and leaks into everything from how people store their money off-shore to more insidious things, it feels like a lot of people are having their dirty linen washed in public.
That being said, the world of cleaning has become a subject of controversy recent thanks to a hack that was being used on LG robot vacuums. If you owned any of the LG root vacuums that run on the SmartThinQ app, allowing for remote control of your robot vacuum, you might need an update.
Check Point, a firm from Israel, recently found that a hack had been released that allows for people to easily use the robot hoover to lock onto its camera function and spy around houses with absolute ease. As terrifying as that sounds, it was a total invasion of privacy that has been used to try and see into people’ homes by hackers.
After all, who would suspect such a thing?
Check Point also stated how this same hack could be used to exploit fridges, ovens, fridges, dryers and AC units among other smart appliances at home. Anything used by the LG popular mobile app for smart control was fair game, essentially. So, if you use this kind of app for your robot cleaner or any other smart hardware at home, it might be time to make an investment of time in updating the software!
The latest version of the app at the time of writing – version 1.9.23 – has a solution to help block out this hack. However, hackers rarely give up so we recommend that you keep updating the app as often as you can to make sure you are never unwittingly giving someone backdoor access to your home.
These were first disclosed in late July to LG, before being fixed in September. Given its now November, if you have not updated the app for a while it might be within your interests for you to go and do this as soon as possible.
It does go to show, though, how a simple mobile application can give nefarious types a total and simple way to get into your home, your privacy and your very safety. With over one million users of the Hom-Bot model, for example, hackers would have had very easy access to the homes of these people without anyone ever finding out.
With only an e-mail address needed to get access to the app in the first place, access was super-simple for hackers who were resourceful enough to get logged in. The rather lax security of the app caused great consternation, but it looks like LG have finally moved to help lock out access to user accounts without such ease of access like beforehand.
While smart technology is such a major part of the future, vigilance is key as we try and overcome the threats as well as benefit from the sheer vastness of possibility. If you use the LG app, update it immediately!