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Update Any Nest Cam Security Cameras You May Own

By July 13, 2019May 17th, 2022Cybersecurity

Did you get your Google Nest Security Camera system used or second hand?  If you did, be sure your cameras are running the latest firmware.

Recently, the tech review site Wirecutter reported that some older Nest cams allowed their former owners to access camera feeds, even after the devices had been reset to factory settings.

This is an interesting case because in this instance, the bug wasn’t found by a group of savvy researchers, but by a Facebook group for Wink smart hub owners.  By pure happenstance and experimentation, the group discovered that feeds from formerly owned cameras could still be accessed via the Wink hub, even in cases where those devices had been reset to factory defaults. This naturally created a buzz, which was picked up by Wirecutter’s staff and then promptly forwarded onto Google.

For their part, Google responded quickly, issuing a security patch and pushing it to all Nest cameras connected to the web.  Of course, that didn’t capture all the Nest cameras in existence. If you’ve been considering buying some (even from a respected seller like Amazon), the first thing you should do is to check the firmware version of the camera you get and update to the latest if it’s not already installed.

Google is better than most of the companies selling smart devices, many of which don’t offer any sort of security at all.  Even so, as this incident clearly highlights that even Google’s firmware isn’t perfect.

Given the recent explosion in smart devices in recent years, we can expect to see many more incidents and reports like these.  While the Internet of Things holds great promise, it also carries grave risks that should not be underestimated or discounted.  If you’ve embraced smart home culture, be careful.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.