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More Connected Appliance Woes

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We're on a roll this week with stark warnings about connected appliances and the security (or lack thereof) surrounding them with new warnings from a police chief constable now.

Chief Constable Mike Barton, national lead on crime operations has warned of smart connected devices allowing back door access to criminals to steal people's details and potentially more from owners.

Mr Barton told the Telegraph: “It’s not just that they [cyber-criminals] are going to get into your fridge and find out how many yoghurts you eat a week.

"The fact is that your ‘internet of things’ are all plugged into the same network and that provides the criminal with a back door into your network.

“The more you connect up your devices, the more you give people the opportunity to invade and the more there is a very real challenge to your security.”

Mr Barton explained that since many appliances are now fitted with cameras, hackers could even use them to spy on people in their homes. That's important as if criminals know you're not there, on holiday etc then breaking in becomes a whole lot easier for them!

He also pointed out that integration of the devices with bank details, such as a fridge that can order milk online when it runs out, posed an added risk. And when we consider the lax security we've seen the far on appliance implementations and the widespread criticism of it we strongly urge people not to conduct transactions on these appliances.

Mr Barton's warning came as the government said it plans to let tech firms like Amazon and Google provide gas and electricity to British customers.

Rules banning firms that are not dedicated energy providers from entering the market are set to be relaxed by energy regulator OFGEM and the Department for Business, Innovation, Energy and Skills.

The government hopes billions could be wiped from electricity bills as tech firms “disrupt the market”.

However doing so will require homes to use internet-connected meters providing information about energy consumption, leading to fears over hacking which, given what we've seen so far with appliances, we can't say we blame people from being skeptical on the security of these devices.

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