Security flaw in Amazon’s Ring Neighbors app exposed home addresses, users’ locations

Amazon-owned Ring has suffered another privacy miscue, after a flaw in its Neighbors app exposed the exact locations and home addresses of some of its users.

According to TechCrunch, which first reported the news, users who posted to the app had their information exposed. The Neighbors app allows users to “always know what’s happening” in their neighborhood, thanks to neighbors, local news sources and public safety agencies, according to the app’s description.

In 2019, Ring partnered with more than 400 police agencies across the country via its Neighbors app to become the country’s “new neighborhood watch.”

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The flaw was publishing hidden data in the app taken from the company’s servers.

FOX Business has reached out to Ring with a request for comment for this story, though a spokesman told TechCrunch the company has fixed the issue.

“At Ring, we take customer privacy and security extremely seriously,” the spokesman said. “We fixed this issue soon after we became aware of it. We have not identified any evidence of this information being accessed or used maliciously.”

Amazon purchased Ring for $1.2 billion in 2018.

Ring has previously come under the intense scrutiny of customers and employees alike for security and privacy concerns. In 2019, a number of people reported security camera hacking incidents on their devices.

In one instance, a Mississippi couple said in November 2019 that someone hacked the Ring security camera placed inside their 8-year-old’s bedroom. The hacker began playing music and talking to the little girl. At one point, the hacker told the girl he was Santa Claus, WMC Action News 5 reported.

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Both Amazon and Ring were sued over the hack in December 2019, with the lawsuit citing negligence, invasion of privacy, breach of implied contract, breach of implied warranty and unjust enrichment.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California, the companies have known about the insufficiency of the system’s security.

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In November 2020, Ring recalled 350,000 doorbells because of the risk of a fire hazard, FOX Business reported.

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FOX Business’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this story.

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