Swann Hopes Google Home Will Make You Forget Their Security SnafuBy - 08/07/2018
Google “Swann,” hit “News,” and you’ll more than likely find several articles outlining the companies newly discovered security flaw. While security vulnerabilities are unfortunately not rare in the security camera world, this one was particularly concerning.
Swann Cameras Left Users Vulnerable
As reported by the BBC, the security issue was first uncovered by a BBC staffer who received a motion-triggered clip from another family’s camera. Swann chalked this issue up as “human error.” According to the BBC,
…”human error” had caused two cameras to be manufactured that shared the same “bank-grade security key – which secures all communications with its owner.”
Swann called the issue a “one-off.” It wasn’t.
A team of researchers at Pen Test Partners decided to dig further. They purchased several security cameras and began to test them. What they found was chilling. They were able to switch video feeds from one camera to another successfully. In essence, they could access feeds other user’s cameras.
Swann and Google Home
Swann was fast to address the issue and patch vulnerabilities. They were also fast to follow up with positive news: a Google Home integration.
Swann is claiming that they are the first security company to launch voice integrations via Google Assistant for multi-camera wired systems. Take out the word “wired,” and this statement no longer holds true.
Wired security camera systems have been slow to adopt newer integrations, so Swann’s move is a step in the right direction. Via the integration, you can use voice commands to stream video from your security cameras to your TV, assuming you also have a Google Chromecast device.
Swann suggests that users try phrases like, “Okay Google, show me channel one” or “Hey Google, show me the front door.”
If you’re a Swann user, getting started is simple but requires that you own a compatible device.
Currently, the integration works with the following Swann models:
You will also need either a Google Chromecast device, Chromecast Ultra, or a TV with Chromecast built-in.
Next, you will need to download Swann’s HomeSafe View app. From there, click on the hamburger menu and then tap “Google Home” to access in-app instructions. If you don’t see Google Home listed as an option, this is probably because your system is not yet compatible with the Google Home integration.
Once Swann and Google Home are paired, you can issue voice commands directly to your Google Home device (Home, Mini, Max) which will then control your Google Chromecast device.
At this time, the integration can only be used to stream video. Action commands are limited to Start, Play, View, and Show, but Swann’s plan is to grow the integration.
With Swann quick to correct vulnerabilities and also to secure the position of the first multi-camera wired system to offer a Google Home integration, are you ready to give them back your trust?
*Photo Credit Swann