A new study by HP finds that the devices and networks making up the "Internet of Things" often lack common security features, leaving them and possibly your home open to attack. The company's researchers looked at 10 unnamed devices, ranging from home alarms to thermostats and garage door openers. Few required strong passwords, allowing simple ones like "1234" that are often the first hackers try when attempting to gain access. Others fell prey to simple hacks like cross-site scripting, as well as others that are unsophisticated enough that they can be automated. And seven out of the 10 didn't encrypt some traffic, be it local or with the Internet.
These security oversights indicate a young market facing the same challenges that Web apps and Internet retailers have faced over the last few years. But when what you're protecting isn't just your credit card number but your actual home, it may be worthwhile to double-check that your Internet of Things devices aren't leaking private data or freely admitting hackers.
— Devin Coldewey, NBC News
First published July 30 2014, 1:51 PM