New York attorney general settles with Quicklock maker amid password concerns

safetech lawsuit password safety quicklock
These days, we have a login and password for just about everything, ranging from our online bank accounts to Amazon to our smartphone apps. The average person has 27 discrete online logins, according to a 2016 poll by Intel Security, and we protect them with passwords. But are these passwords safe? For the first time in history, an attorney general’s office took legal action against a wireless security company for failing to protect its customer’s security.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office recently settled with Safetech Products LLC, maker of Bluetooth-enabled door locks and pad locks marketed under the name Quicklock. The locks are designed to turn doors and closets into secure areas, protecting you and your belongings. Schneiderman began investigating Safetech when a group of independent security researchers found that the Bluetooth-enabled locks transmitted unencrypted passwords between the lock and the user’s smartphone in plain text, allowing a potential hacker or thief to intercept the password and open up the lock. The researchers also found that the default passwords on the locks were very weak, and could easily be discovered through a brute force attack.

Although Safetech’s locks limit the Bluetooth range to around 50 feet and have a built in safeguard where they shut down for two minutes after two failed login attempts, the settlement agreement between the Schneiderman’s office and Safetech calls for increased security to protect consumers.

The settlement agreement says Safetech must encrypt all passwords, security keys, or other security credentials in their locks. Safetech will also have to prompt users to change the default password during setup. In addition to securing user passwords, Safetech agreed to put a comprehensive written security program in place to address any potential future security risks.

“Today’s settlement with Safetech marks the first time an attorneys general’s office has taken legal action against a wireless security company for failing to protect their customer’s personal and private information,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “Companies employing new technologies must implement and promote good security practices and ensure that their products are secure, including through the use of encryption. Together, with the help of companies like Safetech, we can safeguard against breaches and illegal intrusions on our private data.”

Product Review

Ring Video Doorbell 2 is the simplest entry into a smarter doorway

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 may lack the style and sophistication of premium door-dingers, but few can match its simplicity and versatility. The device, available in both wired and wireless configurations, is easy to set up and adds instant…
Smart Home

The best smart locks turn your phone into a key

A good smart lock should offer a combination of security and convenience. Fortunately, these devices keep your home protected, your family safe, and your belongings secure from possible intruders.

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.

Tidal faces legal jeopardy over fake stream numbers accusation

In another challenging chapter for music subscription service Tidal, Norwegian authorities have begun a formal investigation into charges that the company faked millions of streams for artists such as Kanye West and Beyoncé.
Smart Home

This Silicon Valley studio rents for $1,500 per month — to 2 cats

A man in San Jose, California, rents a studio apartment for $1,500 per month for a very important reason: So his daughter's two cats have a place to call their own. It may be the swankiest cat pad on the West Coast.

Amazon drops prices on Roomba robot vacuums by up to $150

Amazon is offering discounts on iRobot Roombas and other robot vacuums to help you get a leg-up on those chores. We've rounded up the best deals available now and put them all in one place.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Smart Home

Speed up cooking with one of the best pressure cookers on the market

Not all pressure cookers are created equally. You have to choose between stovetop cookers, multicookers, canners, and even microwave cookers. Our pressure cooking buyer's guide includes our picks for the best in each category.
Smart Home

Brew it fast, hot, and flavorful with our favorite coffee makers

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Smart Home

This just in: Alexa can now deliver the news like a professional newscaster

The Amazon Alexa team has given Alexa a newscaster voice that improves the way she delivers the news and reads Wikipedia articles, making the smart assistant easier to understand.
Smart Home

Ring security camera catches man licking the doorbell for hours

A family in Salinas, California had their Ring camera capture something pretty unexpected: a man licking the doorbell outside of their home for more than three hours. The incident took place around 5:00 a.m.
Smart Home

GHSP makes a (back)splash with its touchscreen concept kitchen

One of the coolest concept kitchens from CES 2019 came from GHSP. It created a backsplash entirely made of touchscreens. That means the control panel for your kitchen is accessible no matter where you are.
Product Review

Kwikset Kevo Contemporary review

Tired of carrying around keys? Make keyless entry so easy that all you have to do is have your phone nearby to open the door. It’s a little pricey, but sleek lines and simple features make the Kwikset Kevo Contemporary a great choice for…
Smart Home

Airbnb says sorry to guest for how it dealt with undisclosed security camera

An Airbnb guest recently found a surveillance camera in his rental apartment that hadn't been properly disclosed in the listing. The firm admits its initial response to the guest's complaint was poor, but has since made amends.