Security Risks on your Wrists!

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Wearable Tech is getting bigger and bigger. Wearables were all the rage at MWC this year, Apple is hosting an Apple Watch event and the Pebble Time has already acquired $17m in crowd funding. Are wearables going to be the latest target for malware and cyber crims alike?


From simple fitness trackers like Fitbit or the Nike Fuelband all the way up to the Pebble Steel, LG G Watch R and the highly anticipated Apple Watch, smartwatches and other wearables are big business.

However, just like smartphones, and with the spike in Android malware we’ve seen recently, are we opening another window into our digital lives, one that could be exploited.

I asked Mark James, ESET security specialist, whether he thinks that wearable tech is going to be a potential IT security risk.


“Valid attack vector…”


“It’s certainly going to be a valid attack vector, with all that information being sent form the device back to servers it’s going to be a very enticing target for all sorts of personal information,” Mark explains.

“Video and photo images with GPS data embedded will not only let others know that you’re out and about but will also give criminals the information they could use to exploit the fact you’re not at home.”

As most smartwatches need to be paired with a smartphone or tablet, I’m concerned that they might introduce an open backdoor into the paired device.

Mark frequently explains that part of the problem with smartphone security is that users don’t see their device as a target, at least not in the same way that their desktop is.

But you take it everywhere with you, store your sensitive information on it and quite possibly connect to some insecure public Wi-Fi. I don’t think it will be long before smartwatches are used in the same way.


“All manner of malware…”


Location has to be the number one concern, on top of that you don’t have any real control over where your data is being held. We rely on security to protect our data but all too often this security is flawed and our data ends up for sale somewhere,” Mark continues.

An antivirus solution for your smartphone is a necessity, just like it is for your desktop. How long will it be before we see similar software or apps for your smartwatch?

AV for wearable devices is a must and we will see all manner of malware on these devices once they become financially viable for third parties to start investing and creating cheaper and less secure versions of the big name devices.”

Money of course is going to be the driving force: it became worth it to develop malware for Android, how long will it take for it to become financially viable to produce malware for smartwatch platforms?


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Are you going to buy a smartwatch? Do the security risks worry you? Would you use AV software if it became available?