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MiSafes' child-tracking smartwatches are 'easy to hack' • BBC News
Leo Kelion:
<p>A location-tracking smartwatch worn by thousands of children has proven relatively easy to hack.

A security researcher found the devices neither encrypted the data they used nor secured each child's account. As a result, he said, he could track children's movements, surreptitiously listen in to their activities and make spoof calls to the watches that appeared to be from parents.

Experts say the issues are so severe that the product should be discarded.

Both the BBC and the researcher involved tried to contact the makers of the MiSafes Kid's Watcher Plus to alert them to the problem but received no reply.

Likewise, a China-based company listed as the product's supplier did not respond to requests…

Pen Test Partner's Ken Munro and Alan Monie learned of the product's existence when a friend bought one for his son earlier this year. Out of curiosity, they probed its security measures and found that easy-to-find PC software could be used to mimic the app's communications. This software could be used to change the assigned ID number, which was all it took to get access to others' accounts.
This made it possible to see personal information used to register the product, including: a photo of the child;
their name, gender and date of birth; their height and weight; the parents' phone numbers; and the phone number assigned to the watch's Sim card.

"It's probably the simplest hack we have ever seen," he told the BBC. "I wish it was more complicated. It isn't."</p>

Securing the internet of things is all about business model. Security costs money.
smartwatch  hack 
yesterday by charlesarthur
nRF52/nRF51 Fitness Trackers & Smartwatches
nRF52/nRF51 Fitness Trackers & Smartwatches Reverse Engineered for use as a Wearable Device Development Platform
github  fitness  smartwatch  wearable 
yesterday by cyberchucktx
Fixing Wear OS: how Google could fight back against the Apple Watch • Wareable
David Nield:
<p>Both our developers were adamant: Wear OS needs a flagship wearable to compete with the Apple Watch. "When people buy an Apple watch, they buy the Apple Watch," says Jason. "When people buy an Wear OS device, they buy… what? The release of a Google Pixel Watch could change that as it would give users one device to focus on."

"The platform really needs a flagship watch," agrees Kris. "No Wear OS watch comes close to the Apple or even Samsung Galaxy watches. Google is clear it wants its partners to focus on the hardware while they focus on the software but neither is doing a good job. Maybe the problem is fashion companies aren't good at building tech hardware."

While we'd say there are in fact some very good Wear OS smartwatches on the market, we can see the point – while earlier models had their flaws, the Apple Watch Series 4 really brings hardware and software together impressively well. It's particularly adept at health and fitness tracking, something Wear OS is still struggling to excel at.

The Wear OS users we spoke to had different ideas about how to push Wear OS forward. Aaron Gumbs wants to see more user customisation options and less of a reliance on Google's apps and services, while Iwan van Ee would like tighter and more useful integrations with the apps already on his phone.

For Juhani Lehtimäki though, less is more. He points to the Google Chromecast and the Google Home smart speaker as devices that are brilliant in their simplicity.

"Google needs to bring Wear back to being extension of our phones," says Juhani. "The amount of standalone apps available for a watch doesn’t matter… how well it extends my Google Fit, Android notification system and others is what matters. Take out the Play Store, take out the keyboard support, and focus on being helpful." </p>

That "keyboard support" even exists tells you exactly who Wear OS's audience tends to be: geeks who want to noodle. Nobody sensible tries to type anything harder than a passcode on a watch. (Wear OS is apparently 7% of smartwatch sales.) The point about too much choice is a good one too.
Android  wearos  apple  smartwatch  applewatch 
4 days ago by charlesarthur
I’m a Paramedic: Here’s How the Apple Watch Series 4 Will and Won’t Save Lives - TidBITS
From the article:
Thanks to its health monitoring features, the new Apple Watch Series 4 will save lives, probably within weeks of launch. I’ve been on real calls that might have had happier endings had the person been wearing one. I don’t know if wearing one would have saved that first victim—probably not—but Apple should get full credit for building a mainstream device that will save some lives.
That doesn’t mean it’s perfect. The Apple Watch Series 4 is far from a comprehensive life-saving device. It suffers from some serious limitations and faces some very real obstacles, especially cost and battery life, but in the end, some people will live longer because they wear one. Over time these features will become more reliable, more affordable, and more comprehensive, especially as Apple’s competitors catch up.
smartwatch  health  Apple  iPhone 
5 weeks ago by JJLDickinson

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