Why We Need to Rethink Security for Wearable Tech

As ubiquitous computing continues to become the focal point of our daily lives, it is more important than ever to make decisions about the scope of data people unknowingly share. With wearable technology, users are enjoying the comfort that comes through ambient intelligence. However, they also risk potentially exposing their private data to nefarious actors. For example, a hacker may gauge the best time to rob victims while they sleep based on their leaked heartbeat data. Hackers can also use data to discover medical conditions that can be exploited for illegal gains.

Security in wearable technology is different from the precautions people take in other settings. This is due to the increased attack surface exposed by such devices. In 2015, a vulnerability in the Fitbit wristband was disclosed that allowed an attacker to upload malicious code when the device was in close range. The code could then be transferred to any connected computer making other devices vulnerable as well.

Bluetooth is becoming the premier connectivity option for a majority of wearable devices. Unfortunately, Bluetooth is not secure, and it continues to be a weak link in the security chain. Freely available tools, such as Crackle, can be used to crack Bluetooth encryption. …

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