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26 votes
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Is there any advantage in encrypting sensor data that is not private?

Absolutely, because: A secure device and channel means that you can trust the data. Yes, the actual temperature is not very private, but an attacker can provide false temperatures and cause an ...
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  • 1,483
21 votes
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Is the Amazon Echo mic mute a hardware switch?

According to Jeff Bezos, it's a hardware button, and various sources seem to agree from the teardowns A forum post at the EEVblog forums quotes a video featuring Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon: ...
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17 votes
Accepted

Is the Amazon Echo 'always listening' and sending data to the cloud?

Yes, it's always listening. No, it's not always sending to the cloud. Obviously the device has to be always listening to detect the wake word. However, that is done by a technology called. How do ...
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  • 8,045
17 votes

Intercepting web traffic going over cellular network

I have been professionally developing a "device that use LTE/3G or other cellular networks" for decades now, and WireShark is one of our major test tools. Data can be encrypted (generally at layer 2, ...
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15 votes
Accepted

Why was the Internet-connected My Friend Cayla doll banned as a "hidden espionage device"?

As I understand the issues, there are two particular points in which the Cayla doll differs from similar allowed toys: The doll has a light indicating when it is sending - but that can be switched ...
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12 votes

Is the Amazon Echo 'always listening' and sending data to the cloud?

Is the Echo always recording and sending data to the cloud, or are the above claims unsubstantiated? No on the sending. But yes on the recording. I'm currently developing an Alexa hardware client ...
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11 votes

How to stop these toys from sending what my kids say to the cloud?

For the My Friend Cayla toy, you can use it without an Internet connection. The FAQ states: Do I need an internet connection to play with Cayla? An internet connection will be required to ...
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10 votes

Why was the Internet-connected My Friend Cayla doll banned as a "hidden espionage device"?

it's not exactly hidden; the device is advertised as 'smart' and connected to the Internet. Okay but if you're not the one who bought it, you may not be aware that it is recording your speech and ...
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10 votes

Intercepting web traffic going over cellular network

3g v Wifi Security Standard wifi v LoRaWan/LPWAN If I'm worried about a device that could send some personal information without my consent is unplugging it and returning it to the store the only ...
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  • 1,205
8 votes
Accepted

Does the Google Home record conversations to target advertisements?

On the Voice & Audio section of the Google My Activity page, you can see your history. The recordings it keeps are only after triggering it to wake up with the wake word (OK Google). It also has ...
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  • 511
8 votes

Why was the Internet-connected My Friend Cayla doll banned as a "hidden espionage device"?

The news in Germany where reporting that under german laws the doll is considered as hidden espionage device as it looks like a normal toy without any electronical parts to people who do not know ...
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8 votes

Is there any advantage in encrypting sensor data that is not private?

Sensor reports to a current thermostat reading feel very private to me. A burglar could use the data to find out when a person is at home. After the house got robbed the owner might decide it's a good ...
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  • 685
7 votes
Accepted

What personal information is stored on my Amazon Echo?

I have some skills published for Alexa, so here my understanding... When you use Alexa, it needs to connect to the cloud, where you send whatever you say as a digital signal. How long Amazon will ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Are Samsung's "S Health" devices storing health data in the cloud?

Rather a lot of personal information is collected, according to the Privacy Policy. Here are some of the more sensitive pieces of information collected: When not logged in Birth year Gender Height, ...
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7 votes

How can I prevent my device leaking sensitive data through traffic fingerprinting?

If the service you use can tolerate some latency, routing the traffic of your device through the TOR network would make the destination address impossible to determine for your ISP, and the source ...
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  • 533
7 votes

Is the Amazon Echo mic mute a hardware switch?

The button feels like a momentary push switch and I'm 99% certain that the mute state is reset on a reboot. With both of these in mind I would suggest that it's a software controlled mute rather than ...
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  • 11.9k
6 votes

Why was the Internet-connected My Friend Cayla doll banned as a "hidden espionage device"?

One of the key issues with My Friend Cayla is that the audio files it sends are not saved securely. Ken Munro has carried out extensive analysis on this (and many other IoT devices) and points out ...
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6 votes
Accepted

How can I set up IP whitelisting on an IP camera without support for whitelists?

Have to start out by saying, this will have to take place on the router. I looked into the camera, but it simply seems to be too manufacturer set to be able to run a crack that complex on. Perhaps ...
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  • 4,613
6 votes

Is there any advantage in encrypting sensor data that is not private?

Yes, there is advantage to encrypting all communications. You wouldn’t post asking of there is any advantage to locking your house, would you? There question is not of whether, but of how much, ...
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5 votes

Is the Amazon Echo 'always listening' and sending data to the cloud?

By saying a key phrase Amazon calls a “wake word” the Echo comes to life and begins listening for commands. By default, the wake word is Alexa. If you reread that last sentence it may not ...
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  • 2,560
5 votes

Is there any advantage in encrypting sensor data that is not private?

In addition to other answers, if the data is sent in plaintext it can be modified. Apart from mentioned problems faking data can cause (turning heat to the max due to lying thermometer in the middle ...
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5 votes

Is there any advantage in encrypting sensor data that is not private?

It's always a choice of the designer/developer. But using encryption and other security measures becoming a necessity in these days. As per an example, sensor that reports the current thermostat ...
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  • 814
5 votes
Accepted

Will changing my user name and password block Mirai attacks?

Mirai's source code has been released in public, and Jerry Gamblin has kindly created a GitHub repository so that you can easily look through the code for research/academic purposes such as this. I ...
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5 votes

How can I prevent my device leaking sensitive data through traffic fingerprinting?

For devices which are particularly sensitive, a good way to prevent someone from snooping the connection pattern is to generate spoof data, or intentionally skew the connection times (if data need not ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Privacy with Voice Assistants

Keeping the device muted when not in use removes a huge amount of the benefit of a voice assistant, if you have to get up, walk across the room and unmute it to use it you might as well just install ...
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  • 11.9k
4 votes
Accepted

How can I prevent my device leaking sensitive data through traffic fingerprinting?

What are the steps to the privacy leak described? Basically there are three parts in getting the information described in the paper. An interested party recording the outgoing traffic (2) Said party ...
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  • 8,045
4 votes

How can I prevent my device leaking sensitive data through traffic fingerprinting?

While I like the use of TOR, you might not be able to configure every device to use it. The simplest way would be to do something at the router, where all traffic, from all devices, enters and exits ...
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4 votes

Is the Amazon Echo mic mute a hardware switch?

I agree with @hardillb's assessment: it's a software button. I have several basic reasons for believing so: The mute button turns on a red ring light. While it would be possible to do this with a ...
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  • 4,613
3 votes
Accepted

Is the Nest Cam recording even when "switched off"?

Great question! As has been remarked in the comments, this sounds mostly like a news report rant that hasn't really researched completely. All the articles out there say essentially the same thing: ...
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  • 4,613
3 votes

What personal information is stored on my Amazon Echo?

If I ever wanted to sell the Echo, it'd be useful to know what information is on the device, so that I can try to remove it. I think one good option is to deregister the echo device from you Amazon ...
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  • 2,560

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