Friday, 15 December, 2017

Amazon security camera could be remotely disabled by rogue couriers

A demonstration of Amazon Key at a Brooklyn bed and breakfast.                  Sarah Tew  CNET A demonstration of Amazon Key at a Brooklyn bed and breakfast. Sarah Tew CNET
Garry Little | 18 November, 2017, 01:35

Amazon told CBS News they do not believe customers would be put at risk by this.

According to latest research, Amazon Key is already vulnerable to a security disaster - it was a security disaster to begin with, but let's try to focus on the "convenience" it offers. The company pointed out to us in an email that All Key deliveries have time-stamped reports detailing how long doors are opened and the company alerts customers if the camera goes offline for extended periods of time.

The hack exploits a bug in WiFi devices, that lets nearby attackers overload them with a series of "deauthorisation" commands. It's an issue for practically all Wi-Fi devices, one that allows anyone to spoof a command from a Wi-Fi router that temporarily kicks a device off the network.

The spokesperson added that all of Amazon's drivers undergo thorough background checks, and deliveries made to Amazon Key systems can only be made by the specific driver assigned to them. If a rogue courier were to try something malicious, Amazon would immediately know the identity of the driver and the time and location of such an incident. And if something does go wrong, Amazon said, it works with the customer to fulfill Amazon's Happiness Guarantee if any products or property are damaged.

"Safety and security are built into every aspect of the service", an Amazon spokeswoman said.

The camera is very much something Amazon is relying on in pitching the security of this as a safe solution. The customer wouldn't even get a notification on their phone that the camera is offline. Researchers at the Seattle based research lab, Rhino Security Labs demonstrated how this hack can be performed and valuables can be stolen. Online research company Morning Consult, found in a nationwide poll conducted last month that 68 percent of USA adults said they're not comfortable giving strangers access to their homes. However, whether Amazon itself trusts people dropping the package off is another concerning question. The company then activates the camera and unlocks the door remotely. The parcel is delivered as expected, so as to not raise any suspicion, however once the program is run, the courier has the ability to re-enter the home without notifying the Cloud Cam or the history of authorised unlocks. A free tier lets users download the previous 24 hours of video clips without a paid subscription, with support for up to three cameras. Indeed, one of the key messages of the Cloud Cam was that it would give a vital sense of reassurance for users of the Amazon Key service. If the system is thus disarmed, even if you're watching a "live" stream, you wouldn't see anything out of the ordinary. Figuring many would be wary of that, the Amazon Cloud Cam was pitched as a way to ensure everything was above board. No special codes or keys are given to the driver. The driver drops off the package, steps outside and tells Amazon to lock the door.

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