A coffee machine being controlled by an app inside a smart home.
A coffee machine being controlled by an app inside a smart home.

How your coffee maker could turn on you

TURNING on your smart TV or your coffee machine before you arrive home is a nice convenience, but it could compromise your security.

New smartphone-controlled devices in homes can be connected to the internet to allow users to use them remotely.

Smart devices in a smart home.
Smart devices in a smart home.

A cyber security expert has warned those connections are not secure, meaning hackers can steal your ID or hook into your security cameras.

Speaking at the VivaTech summit in Paris, the chief executive of security giant Avast, Vince Steckler, said the devices leave personal information vulnerable to cyber snoopers, The Sun reports.

Homeowners can remotely make coffee in the morning, order shopping when the fridge is almost empty and give vocal commands if they are linked to virtual assistant software such as Amazon's Alexa.

Mr Steckler said hackers could access the network created by the appliances and gain access to other devices such as laptops and mobile phones.

This allows them to get their hands on personal data such as credit card details, he added.

The Google Home Hub is displayed in New York. Picture: AP
The Google Home Hub is displayed in New York. Picture: AP

Speaking to the Mail, Mr Steckler said: "Once you're inside you can get into more valuable places of the network.

"Coffee machines are not designed for security.

TVs are not designed for security.

"What they are is additional vectors to get into your network.

"And you can't protect them. There's not going to be Avast [protection software] for Nespresso."

The 60-year-old tech whiz warned a hacker wouldn't pick a smart TV to take over for ransom, and would instead target a home's most vulnerable devices: cameras and baby monitors.

He also added that he avoids messaging app WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, because of privacy concerns.

Mr Steckler told the newspaper: "How many people ask permission of family and friends before they share details with WhatsApp?

"Everyone thinks privacy is really important but most people's behaviour is not that way.

"You willingly share information with Facebook, you willingly let Google know everyone about you because the value that you think you're getting in exchange is worth giving up your privacy or your friends' privacy."

This story was first published in The Sun and appears here with permission.