Susan Shelley – Redlands Daily Facts – California News

Susan Shelley – Redlands Daily Facts – California News

The chairman of the U.S. Senate’s Cybersecurity Caucus is concerned about coffee pots.

And he’s not alone. A bipartisan group of senators is worried about coffee makers, as well as toasters, refrigerators, thermostats, DVRs and security cameras.

“These are things that can be hacked into,” said Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado. Gardner and other members of the caucus are sponsoring legislation that would require improved security on any internet-connected gadgets and appliances that are purchased by the U.S. government.

If you’re still turning on your appliances with your finger, you may not know that it’s now possible to control your entire home with your smart phone. There are more than 8 billion devices in the world sending data over wireless internet connections, enabling users to control them from a mobile app, and enabling companies to save, sift, store and sometimes sell the data that the devices transmit.

Gardner says many of these gadgets are manufactured in other countries and have little or no security. Even the devices that use encryption can reveal information about their users. A new Princeton study, titled “Spying on the Smart Home,” details how hackers — or government agencies — can track an individual’s actions by observing the volume of data traffic from a home’s digital devices.

Some of these gadgets transmit extremely personal information that should be private, like medical monitors, or a toy that knows a child’s name and location, or a toy for adults that reveals even more.

The maker of WeVibe paid a $3.75 million settlement to angry consumers who didn’t appreciate having their text, chat and usage details recorded and…

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