You bought your Ring Doorbell for safety and security, and for the most part, these popular video doorbells can impede intruders and package thieves. However, they may actually be inviting crime of another sort.
The system may be exposing your Wi-Fi data to hackers and cybercriminals. Reports began surfacing last week that indicated that cybersecurity researchers uncovered a software flaw in the device that could have helped potential hackers steal usernames and passwords.
The vulnerability was in the doorbell’s camera, which sent sensitive information from the camera to the device’s app over an unencrypted network. That means anyone using that same unencrypted network could have stolen the video user’s information.
“If incorrectly set up or used in the wrong way, they can make people more vulnerable to attackers,” stated senior ZDNet reporter Danny Palmer.
Amazon provided every Ring Doorbell Pro user with a security patch to prevent any hacks moving forward.
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This is not the first time there has been controversy around the Ring Doorbell system. There were reports earlier this year, that Ring employees may have had had unwanted access to the video streams of the systems interior cameras. As The technology news site The Intercept reported, “It appears that Ring may have allowed its employees inappropriate and potentially unrestricted access to its customers’ video streams or recordings.” The piece in The Intercept went on to say, that despite Ring’s mission to keep homes and their occupants secure, “the company’s treatment of customer video feeds has been anything but.” The company gave its Ukraine-based R&D team “virtually unfettered access” to “every video created by every Ring camera around the world,” according to the site.
“The Ukraine team was also provided with a corresponding database that linked each specific video file to corresponding specific Ring customers,” the site reported.
And, as we reported ourselves a few months ago in these very pages, Amazon has been partnering with local police agencies to give Ring systems away free, allegedly to set up a kind of “virtual neighborhood watch.” But, what most people accepting the free system did not realize was that they also gave police the right to access the footage from the cameras anytime without a warrant. Which meant setting up more of a “Big Brother” virtual spy ring, than a crime watch, where police can see what you and your neighbors are doing on your own property, any time they wanted to!
Do you have a Ring Doorbell? Do you trust it, or do you think it’s being used to spy on you?