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Research shows how cyber criminals can take advantage of pet wearables

8 Dec '21
Scientists at the LETI St. Petersburg State University of Electrical Engineering have found out that pet tracking wearables could compromise the integrity of pet owners’ confidential data in their smartphones. Details can be found in International Journal of Computer Science (IJCS).

GPS-connected pet tracking wearables are Internet of Things devices worn by companion animals such as dogs and cats which capture activity, health, or even location data.

Research has shown that in addition to capturing the above pet-related data such trackers can exchange other data with their owners’ gadgets such as smartphones, thus exposing confidential information to cyber threats.

To stimulate attention to hardware security of pet wearables, the LETI team investigated into security aspects of pet wearables by considering what is known as side-channel attacks (SCA). According to LETI associate professor Alla Levina, this powerful type of cryptographic attack takes advantage of physical leakage such as electromagnetic radiation, acoustic cryptanalysis, or simply changes in a gadget’s power consumption. The researchers simulated cyber-attacks by deploying electromagnetic signals.

Such vulnerabilities to SCAs hold significant security implications as a perpetrator can connect to the pet owner’s phone via his or her pet’s wearable.

Based on their findings, the LETI team has come up with a list of recommendations, categorized by specific vulnerabilities detected, for owners to follow if their pets wear trackers.
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Locations: St. Petersburg

Tags: LETI (6) / smartphones (1) / pet wearables (0) / cyber criminal (0) / confidential information (0) /

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