intercept messages from the Fitbit One and Fitbit Flex wristbands and access personal information as it is sent to the company’s cloud servers.
In late 2017, the BlueBorne vulnerability showed how devices using Bluetooth could be hacked by a bad guy simply close to the device without an internet connection. No social engineering, no clicks on dubious phishing sites needed – just a bit of close contact.
With smart clothes – or almost any smart Internet of Thing device – the precise vulnerabilities and security issues will vary according to how the device is connected to the internet.
In the case with Bluetooth, the device sends the data to the phone, the app on the phone sends the data to the Internet and then the reverse – and this is quite a different set of issues than for an IoT CCTV camera that hooks up directly to the internet. And there are yet other additional issues with home WiFi networks. — Andrei Petrus, Head of the Avira SafeThings project.
Beyond the specific vulnerability which can change by the month, Andrei pointed out that the buzz over smart clothes overlooks the basic digital facts of life: smart devices – whether a sweater, your smartphone, or even just the apps on the phone – all record a lot of data about your personal life and where you are living it. The real question is whether you are fine with someone accumulating or picking through this trove of data? While enhancing a workout or your social life with a smart device might seem like a great thing, data brokers’ ability to combine data streams means that they can know a lot about you and your intimate activities.
Avira takes data privacy seriously. In the case of smart clothing, you can get protected by installing Avira Antivirus on your mobile device. The Privacy Advisor feature in Avira Antivirus for Android enables users to see what kind of data each app can collect about them.
From the smart home perspective, the new Avira SafeThings oversees the data traffic coming and going into the home from its perch at the internet gateway. By harnessing Avira’s AI and machine learning expertise, SafeThings can spot data anomalies that could signal security issues or a hacked device.
“The digital conundrum is that people are willing to provide some – but not unlimited – data about their lives in return for customized device features,” Andrei added. “The big question is how they can know what is being collected and then to control it. With Avira, they have that ability.”