FTC Files Lawsuit Against D-Link Over Unprotected IoT Devices

Vulnerable routers and webcams pose a significant threat to online security. D-Link, one of the world’s leading hardware manufacturers of these inter-connected computer accessories, has been sued by the FTC. Apparently, the company has not taken the necessary steps to secure their devices. A hacker may have taken advantage of this issue, although that has not been officially confirmed.

Trouble Ahead For D-Link

On Thursday, January 5th, the FTC filed their complaint against D-Link Corporation and its US subsidiary. The main issue is how their webcams and routers are not adequately secured, allowing hackers to gain remote access. If these devices are exploited, one never fully knows what the criminals may do. Given the recent DDoS attacks through IoT devices, the security of these machines has become a pressing matter.

According to the FTC, D-Link failed to take reasonable steps to protect their IP cameras and routers from unauthorized access. To be more precise, the complaint mentions how the company ignored the “widely known and reasonably foreseeable risks” in this regard. Considering how D-Link has become a household name in nearly every country, this does not bode well for the manufacturer.

Additionally, the FTC also points the finger of blame at D-Link for not properly testing against security flaws. Moreover, the company did not succeed in keeping its own security keys confidential and did not take the necessary steps to secure login credentials on mobile devices. This creates quite a long list of things the company has done wrong, all of which create systemic risks where security is concerned.

Thousands of customers have been left at risk through these malpractices. It is unclear if – and how much- personal information may have been compromised as a result of D-Link neglecting device security. However, it is evident the manufacturer did not adhere to all of the strict guidelines and will have to answer for it in court.

A few years ago, the FTC filed similar complaints against a company called TRENDnet. That company’s home cameras were not properly secured and suffered from similar flaws as those found in D-Link devices today. Just last year, the FTC went after ASUS over their unsecured internet routers. Consumers are put at risk when manufacturers do not take the necessary security precautions, and the damage could take on catastrophic proportions.

If a hacker or online criminal manages to gain unauthorized access to these devices, it is impossible to predict what happens next. Last year’s Mirai botnet is a strong indication of how our own devices can be turned against us with relative ease. Manufacturers have their work cut out regarding improving overall security, especially when it comes to login credentials and administrator access.

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