In a recent investigation, researchers at “Which?” discovered that Virgin’s Super Hub 2 router could be easily hacked in as little as four days. Upon discovery, Virgin Media immediately announced to its user base of 800,000 customers to change their account details as soon as possible.

The lurking threat

The vulnerability poses a minor threat to users as stated by Virgin Media. However, it is still significant enough to warrant the attention of the company and its customers as the hack may lead to more serious consequences.

The ethical hacking security group SureCloud was responsible for hacking into the Super Hub 2 and triggered the warnings from Virgin Media. SureCloud did so at the request of Which?.

However, Virgin Media stated that the Super Hub is not the only router at risk and that there are many more smart devices that can be hacked as such.

One of the spokespersons of the Virgin Media said that the company takes the security of its customers very seriously and that the systems are constantly updated so as to ensure that no vulnerabilities exist with regards to security.

Furthermore, as part of upgrading the Super Hub system, Virgin Media has launched an upgraded version of the router, the Super Hub 3.0, which has better security features that will allow for more safety.

Other devices at risk

Researchers at Which? also tested other similar gadgets such as smart cameras, padlock systems and a children’s toy. The devices were tested to see whether they can withstand the attack.

As far as cameras were concerned, Which? tested the Fredi Megapix home CCTV camera system and found that the system operated on an account without a password.

This implies that the camera is vulnerable to all kinds of attacks and can potentially allow hackers to monitor an entire house in which the system is installed.

In fact, researchers also found that hackers can even control the view of the camera and hence perform a perfect cyber espionage.

Which? discovered that various other cameras were also at risk of being hacked along with CloudPets children’s toy that uses Bluetooth to send messages and plays sounds. Around eight out of 15 devices that were tested were found to be vulnerable.

Manufacturers’ response

Which? informed the manufacturers of the affected devices regarding the security flaws. Fredi Megapix and CloudPets did not respond while others upgraded their systems after Which? notified them regarding their products.

The way forward

It is no doubt that smart technologies have benefited our societies immensely; however, it is not without its disadvantages. Companies need to ensure that they keep their products and services updated with the latest security patches.

Customers, on the other hand, need to make themselves aware of such issues and ensure that they have the latest software upgrades.

 

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