FBI Warn Hackers are Using Hijacked Home Security Devices

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has recently reported that the threat actors are hacking home security systems and applying them to place fake calls to emergency services. 

The F.B.I. has issued an announcement to warn all the users of smart home devices with cameras and voice skills to apply all kinds of complex, unique passwords and enable two-factor authentication. 

This warning will surely help the user to change their password so that they will be able to protect themselves from “swatting” attacks. The experts asserted that this Swatting is being shipped out with all the stolen login credentials.   

What is Swatting?

Swatting is a term that is generally being used to describe a hoax call that are made to emergency services. Basically, it reports an urgent threat to human life to attract acknowledgment from the S.W.A.T. team and law enforcement.

However, Swatting may be triggered by revenge, it is generally used as a form of harassment, or it can be used as a prank, but it’s one of the serious crimes that may have life-threatening outcomes.

How the threat actors carried out this version of Swatting?

After investigating the whole matter, the experts came to know that the offenders have been utilizing victims’ smart devices, which also include video and audio capable home surveillance devices, to execute the swatting attacks.

The hackers use stolen email passwords so that they can log into the smart device and hijack features, includes the live-stream camera and device speakers. After that, they call emergency services to report a crime to the victim’s apartment.

Sometimes, the threat actors also live streams the whole event on shared online community platforms.

Experts’ Recommendations

The experts have mentioned some protection and defense for the user to circumvent such circumstances, and here they are:-

  • Since the threat actors use stolen email passwords to get access to smart devices; so, every user should practice good cyber cleanliness by assuring, they have strong, complex passwords for their online accounts.
  • The users should not duplicate the use of passwords among different online accounts, and along with that, users must update their passwords on a regular basis.
  • Users should enable two-factor authentication for their online accounts and on all devices that are available through an internet connection.

Apart from this, the F.B.I. is still investigating the attack and trying to find out all the possible loopholes. While the security experts have also affirmed that if any users feel like they have been victimized, then they should immediately make a police report for their betterment.

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BALAJI is an Ex-Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.