IoT

Exploring the boundaries of routers – securing the connected home

February 27, 2017

At Avast Labs, we started to look at the home router, since our homes today have more Internet of Things (IoT) devices running on our network than we may realize.

At Avast Labs, we started to look at the home router, since our homes today have more Internet of Things (IoT) devices running on our network than we may realize.

 

We believe routers can and should be at the heart of the connected home yet we know that they are subject to vulnerabilities.

Routers are often overlooked devices, capable of more than we might realize – more than just connecting our homes and devices to the Internet. However, as they are the central connected point, they are susceptible to the same attacks as any IoT device. Using the Avast Wi-Fi Inspector product, we performed 132 million unique scans last month of our global Avast users base to check the security status of their connected products and found:

  • 22% of Avast users have some sort of router software vulnerability (Rom-0, CWE-79, etc.)
  • 73% of Avast users have either router software vulnerability or weak/default password or open network

The concept of what we call ‘Chime’ started from the idea that a router could add an extra layer of security to your smart home and also act as connecting hub between your smart home devices.  Chime is a platform that sits on top of the router and makes it smart so that it can protect itself and all devices connected to it.

We already have a partner in the US using it with their router. Amped Wireless’ new ALLY Smart Wi-Fi System, which recently won a CES Innovation Award, offers users an extra, to offer an extra layer of security to their IoT devices, parental controls and content filters to all their customers through an easy to use mobile app.

Chime can also do more. In our prototype demo shown here at Mobile World Congress 2017, we are exploring how we can make the router also act as a smart home hub, facilitating the interaction between the smart devices in your home. Our scenario is where a Chime-enabled router acts as a liaison between an IP camera and your smart TV.

Here’s how this works. Imagine you are at home sitting and watching TV when someone comes at your front door. Then the motion enabled camera (which might also be a smart doorbell) will start streaming the video of your visitor to your Chime router. The router will take this video and will show it as overlay on top of whatever you are watching on the TV, enabling two previously separate devices to communicate and making it simple for you to control both from a single screen.

This short demo is just a hint of what a Chime enabled router will be able to do for the IoT home of the future. By enabling your smart home devices to communicate with each other, the router will allow you to create any customized scenario you might think of, limited only by the devices you own.

For more information, please visit: http://www.chimewifi.com/


February 27, 2017


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