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A Eufy security breach might have shown your home to total strangers

A Eufy security breach showed users the wrong video footage earlier today. If you happened to notice a home that wasn’t your own, you aren’t alone — users from around the world reported they could see other peoples’ feeds and even control their cameras. All of their contact details could also be accessed.

Anker, the parent company of Eufy, confirmed the issue took place in numerous countries (including the United States) and was due to a software bug during a server update. The issue was reportedly corrected within an hour of being discovered at 5:30 a.m. ET today, but Eufy has been light on details regarding exactly how the breach happened.

Software issue or not, seeing into someone else’s home — or someone seeing into your home — is a serious problem. Although the company says that Eufy baby monitors, smart locks, alarm systems, and PetCare products were unaffected, many users have raised the question about whether their Eufy cameras should remain plugged in.

Smart home products are inherently built on trust, especially when they livestream the interior of your home. The fact that a stranger could see into another person’s home, control their camera, and even access that person’s contact information and home network info is more than just a bug. It’s a huge violation of user trust, and one that Eufy’s small apology doesn’t seem to cover.

The event is the realization of many critics’ fears of smart home technology. It isn’t the first time mistakes or hacks have happened, but it’s perhaps the first time that a glitch of this scale affected users. Eufy states that 0.001% of all users were affected but gives no hard numbers on exactly how many people that is.

So, what can people do about worst-case scenarios such as breaches, hacks, and flaws in the system?

The good news is that you can take steps to protect your home security cameras. Knowing the signs that a camera has been hacked or accessed without your authorization will help prevent unwanted access to your home. Proper positioning of cameras at key points throughout the home will help make the most of a limited number of cameras and prevent anyone from seeing more than entryways and windows.

One thing is certain: This breach drives home the benefits of local storage, as well as privacy shutters.

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Patrick Hearn
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Patrick Hearn writes about smart home technology like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, smart light bulbs, and more. If it's a…
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