Hackers are using your smart devices in the home to do their bidding

Ransomware infecting your home devices

Technology exists to make our lives easier. But as it evolves, new troubles come along with it.

We now have the ability to control our thermostats, garage doors, and locks on our homes – all from our cell phones. But cyber security expert Daniel Herrera with Tailwinds Technologies says you’re not the only one with the power to control these devices.

“Security is not in mind with the vendors that are building these, so a lot of these apps or these devices are being built with low security,” Herrera said.

That means hackers have the capabilities of taking control of your devices.

“There’s been cases where they’ve actually taken over thermostats and they’ll raise the temperature all the way up or all the way down, and they demand payment to release your device back to you,” Herrera said.

It’s called ransomware, and most of the time, that payment has to be made in bitcoins, an untraceable currency. Herrera says even when using a firewall, the device can be compromised.

“As we start seeing more and more devices come online, we’re going to start having a lot more risks around them,” Herrera said.

He says the best way to prevent these hacks is to update your device software as soon as the update comes through.

The updates often have security patches in them that will help protect the device.