Study: Burglars could hack smart sprinkler to disable alarm

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LAS VEGAS, NV – JANUARY 05: Vivint’s line of smart home service devices is displayed at CES 2017 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center on January 5, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world’s largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs through January 8 and features 3,800 exhibitors showing off their latest products […]

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) — Computer scientists at William & Mary in Virginia say burglars could potentially break into houses through smart home devices. Those are the products that are connected to the internet and allow people to turn up their thermostat or turn on a sprinkler through apps on their phone.

The university in Williamsburg said in a statement last week that professors and students tested the security of several products and security systems and discovered significant vulnerabilities.

The researchers said hackers can compromise some systems through low-security products like the controls for a sprinkler. From there, burglars could access alarms and cameras and turn them off during a burglary.

They said part of the problem is the use of a centralized system that allows various apps and devices to communicate with each other.

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