Update: ...and it's fixed. A Google spokesperson said: "We were recently made aware of an issue affecting some Nest cameras connected to third-party partner services via Works with Nest. We've since rolled out a fix for this issue that will update automatically, so if you own a Nest camera, there's no need to take any action."
IF YOU'RE INTERESTED in buying a Nest Cam to keep an eye on your home when you're not around, you probably don't want to buy a pre-owned model. If you do, it might not just be you who's looking.
Wirecutter reports that a doozy of a security bug will let the camera's old owner continue to see through the lens, even after a factory reset. The site was able to recreate the bug using its own hardware, too.
That's not quite as bad as it sounds, though still pretty dreadful. Firstly, the vulnerability only affects cameras that have been previously hooked up to a Wink hub. That's a hub that lets owners connect multiple smart home devices, if you're not familiar. It also doesn't let the old owners view a live feed, instead providing a series of "still images snapped every few seconds."
Creepy, yes. But not quite as widely spread a bug as it could be. Still, it prompts a pretty serious question: how can a factory reset device still connect to anything from its previous life?
A Google spokesperson says a fix is on the way, but couldn't say when. "We're actively investigating it and working on a fix," the spokesperson said.
That's good, but another embarrassing mark on Google-owned Nest's privacy copybook. It's already in the doghouse after announcing that it's Nest Guard security system would soon work as a Google Home device - something of a surprise to the people who had bought it, not seeing a microphone on its feature list.
That little blunder meant that Google CEO Sundar Pichai soon had an event labeled "Senate questioning" appearing in his Google calendar. Still, we can't imagine life running one of the biggest companies on the planet keeps him too busy. µ
And that'll cost you a tenner a month
Watch this space
Hackers could erect man-in-the-middle attacks
Painted into a corner