Google is trying to make your smart home safer

Google is trying to make your smart home safer

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Connected “internet of things” gadgets, like connected thermostats, cameras and speakers, suffer from security updates that arrive late or never. So Google (GOOG, GOOGL) has a solution in mind, and it involves the mobile operating system that has long suffered from security updates arriving late or never.

Android Things, the “IoT” platform Google unveiled at its I/O conference here, aims to transcend the problems Android has experienced on phones by taking device makers out of the update loop. Gadgets built on this foundation, Google says, will ship with software hardened against hacking attempts and at least three years of guaranteed, automatic security patches.

So, in theory, we should get smart devices that aren’t stupid about security and don’t get taken over remotely. That would be a welcome addition to a market currently swamped by security vulnerabilities that have allowed hard-to-detect privacy violations and fueled massive denial-of-service campaigns against web infrastructure.

How are you supposed to shop for a smart device?

Here in the reality of 2018, IoT security remains a big bag of unknowns. Manufacturers will introduce connected appliances without clear statements of how long they’ll get bug fixes — even though these things, if used like the non-connected sort, will stay in service for decades.

Even answering basic questions about security features in an allegedly-smart device seems too difficult for some companies, while government regulation has been patchy and sometimes slow to respond to clear failings by firms. One reason: It’s hard to know that a device without a screen or a user interface of any sort has been hacked.

That can lead to a certain willful ignorance or learned helplessness. “I don’t think that consumers are quite thinking about security yet,” observed summed up Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with Creative Strategies.

All this contributed to a horde of connected cameras and other devices being hijacked and enlisted into the Mirai botnet in October of 2016, thenf=&quot;;> <span style=&quot;font-we

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