After researchers foil Amazon Cloud Cam, just how secure are our ‘smart’ homes?

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Amazon’s Key service left some people unsettled when it was first announced, letting the company open a user’s front door remotely to give a delivery person access to drop off packages inside.

Now researchers have found a way to freeze the associated Amazon Cloud Cam smart camera via WiFi. That could theoretically let a rogue courier pop back into the house after making a delivery, while someone watching security footage on the Cloud Cam would just see a closed door.

Amazon says the issue does not pose a threat to customers. If the camera is offline, the Amazon Key service will not open the door, the company points out. Amazon promised a software update to speed up notifications if the camera goes down.

On this episode of the Week in Geek podcast, we debate the tradeoff between convenience and security amid a new wave of smart home technologies.


Plus, we test a delivery service that gives ugly fruits and vegetables a new lease on life. Imperfect Produce sells just that: Tasty, usable food that is destined for the waste bin because of its appearance.

GeekWire’s Taylor Soper gave the service a thumbs up and was particularly impressed by the price: A week’s delivery of produce from the service is about 30 percent less than prices he found on other grocery delivery services.

Also, a company with connections to Google might be bringing a futuristic change to Seattle’s streets. Intersection, a New York-based startup affiliated with Sidewalk Labs, part of Google’s parent Alphabet, is looking to bring its wifi kiosks to the Emerald City.

A Link kiosk in New York City. (Intersection Photo)

Called “communication kiosks,” the hubs provide wifi and sometimes charging stations for citizens on their way around the city — and, of course, they give the company valuable ad space. GeekWire’s Monica Nickelsburg broke the story and joins us to break it down.

On the Random Channel this week:

  • A sports star Q&A straight from the hospital;
  • GeekWire’s brunch with Anthony Bourdain;
  • Geeking out over Lord of the Rings;
  • Seattle pulls one over on the New York Times;
  • And an epic pitch for GeekWire HQ2.

Listen to the episode above and subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast app, like Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Google Play.

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