Skip to main content

Rings finally adds end-to-end encryption to wireless cameras, but there's a catch

Home security brand Ring is expanding end-to-end encryption (also known as E2EE) support to more devices while also introducing a new data transfer feature. It's a welcome security update, but it also forces the deactivation of some useful Ring features.

Previously, E2EE was only available to wired products like the Ring Video Doorbell Pro and Floodlight Cam. Now that support is migrating over to Ring’s wireless cameras and doorbells. However, it’s unknown if everything in the lineup will get it. Nowhere in the announcement does it say whether or not all wireless devices will have the E2EE support; although there are reports stating the support is indeed universal. We reached out to the company to see if it could clear up this confusion. This story will be updated if we hear back.

As for the new data transfer tool, it’s called Deactivated Device State. It allows users to save past recordings from an old Ring device to their account. This way, you don’t have to manually download every single video one by one. Users must stay a Ring subscriber to use this tool, however. Otherwise, they’ll have to download everything to their local computer before the company deletes the videos. 

Instructions on how to save recordings and deactivate devices can be found on Ring’s website. It'll involve updating the Ring mobile app and going into a device's personal settings to keep events.

End-to-end encryption

Either way, if you do have a wireless Ring camera or doorbell, we recommend updating the mobile app to see if the E2EE is available. The company has a set of instructions on its website that detail how to set up end-to-end encryption. Similar to Deactivated Device State, you'll have to update the app and go into the Control Center. From there, activate E2EE, create a passphrase, and then add whichever devices you want.

It's worth enabling E2EE is because, somewhat obviously, it improves Ring Device security. Videos recorded on Ring cameras are uploaded to the company’s cloud storage which, as it turns out, isn’t the most secure. The company has a history of security problems from 1,500 passwords leaking onto the dark web to possibly giving hackers a way to steal Wi-Fi from houses. 

With end-to-end encryption, your recordings have their data protected and unreadable. No one – not Ring, Amazon, hackers, or even the government – can view your encrypted videos. All they’ll get is a jumbled mess of data. Only the Ring user and their connected device can view recorded videos.

That said, there’s a catch to having this level of security. End-to-end encryption on Ring devices actually disables many features including Bird’s Eye View, Virtual Security Guard, Event Timeline, and Alexa Greetings just to name a few. The full list of disabled features can be found on the company website. Users will essentially have to ask themselves whether the better security is worth the loss of convenience. 

Given Ring's history, it may be better to opt for security.

Room for improvement

Expanded E2EE support and the new data transfer feature are great and all, but Ring still has room for improvement. Cybersecurity research firm Checkmarx recently discovered a vulnerability within the Ring Android app that could allow “threat actors to steal identity data including geolocation and camera recordings.” On top of that, it might be possible for someone to upload malware to an Android phone via this vulnerability and steal even more sensitive data, including addresses.

And what’s scary is that theRing  Android app has more than 10 million downloads. Now that end-to-end encryption is available to most of RIng’s offerings, perhaps it’s time for the company to patch the holes in its own security and stop the constant leaks.

If you’re interested in beefing up your home security, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best home security systems of 2022.



Source: TechRadar

Popular posts from this blog

The hidden cost of food delivery

Noah Lichtenstein Contributor Share on Twitter Noah Lichtenstein is the founder and managing partner of Crossover , a diversified private technology fund backed by institutional investors, technology execs and professional athletes and entertainers. More posts by this contributor What Studying Students Teaches Us About Great Apps I’ll admit it: When it comes to food, I’m lazy. There are dozens of great dining options within a few blocks of my home, yet I still end up ordering food through delivery apps four or five times per week. With the growing coronavirus pandemic closing restaurants and consumers self-isolating, it is likely we will see a spike in food delivery much like the 20% jump China reported during the peak of its crisis. With the food delivery sector rocketing toward a projected $365 billion by the end of the decade, I’m clearly not the only one turning to delivery apps even before the pandemic hit. Thanks to technology (and VC funding) we can get a ri

Cyber Monday Canada: Last-minute deals for everyone on your list

Best Cyber Monday Canada deals: Smart Home Audio Phones, Tablets & Accessories Wearables Laptops & PC Components Amazon products Gaming Televisions Cameras Lifestyle & Kitchen Toys & Kids Cyber Monday Canada is here, and retailers are rolling out the red carpet for customers who want to shop for everything from tech to kitchenware to games and everything in between. Unlike years past, Cyber Monday Canada deals look a bit different than normal. Instead of retailers trying to pack their stores with as many shoppers as possible, we're seeing tons of online deals that you can take advantage of from the comfort of your home. We've rounded up our favorites below, so feel free to browse through the best of what Canada Cyber Monday has to offer! This list is being updated with new Cyber Monday deals all the time, so check back often. Spotlight deals It's a Switch Nintendo Switch Fortnite Edition bundle $399.95 at Amazon It's a Switch.

Slack’s new integration deal with AWS could also be about tweaking Microsoft

Slack and Amazon announced a big integration late yesterday afternoon. As part of the deal, Slack will use Amazon Chime for its call feature, while reiterating its commitment to use AWS as its preferred cloud provider to run its infrastructure. At the same time, AWS has agreed to use Slack for internal communications. Make no mistake, this is a big deal as the SaaS communications tool increases its ties with AWS, but this agreement could also be about slighting Microsoft and its rival Teams product by making a deal with a cloud rival. In the past Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield has had choice words for Microsoft saying the Redmond technology giant sees his company as an “existential threat.” Whether that’s true or not — Teams is but one piece of a huge technology company — it’s impossible not to look at the deal in this context. Aligning more deeply with AWS sends a message to Microsoft, whose Azure infrastructure services compete with AWS. Butterfield didn’t say that of course

Turn your Raspberry Pi into a full-blown computer with the best screens

So you've already picked up the best Raspberry Pi kit , but you want to be able to actually see things, so you'll need to find the best Raspberry Pi screen. Then, of course, you'll need to find a display to use, regardless of whether you grabbed the Raspberry Pi 4 or even the Raspberry Pi 400 . So we've rounded up the best options to give your mini computer a display worth using. Super low power GeeekPi 7 Inch 1024x600 Capacitive Touch Screen HDMI Monitor Staff Pick This 7-inch capacitive display has a 1024x600 resolution and connects via HDMI. It also only requires 500mAh of power for its backlight. There are two additional USB ports for you to take advantage of and expand and extend. Plus, you won't have to worry about meddling around with any display drivers and can just plug and play this GeeekPi monitor with your Raspberry Pi. $70 at Amazon Ultimate flexibility ASUS VP28UQG 28" Monitor 4K/UHD Flexibility is the name of the game with a Raspber