Google Questions Assertion That Google Home Hub Is Vulnerable To Remote Hacking

Rumor has it that the new Google Home Hub may have a few security vulnerabilities. A hacker recently demonstrated that a Google Home Hub could potentially be forced to reveal information about its owner, but Google has now refuted this claim and contends that user information is not at risk.

Security researcher Jerry Gamblin noticed that his own Google Home Hub appeared to be using several open ports. He used the command prompt on his computer to reboot his device, disable notifications, erase various settings, and delete the Google Home Hub WiFi network. Gamblin was not able to access user information, but he is concerned that those are the implications of his recent discovery.

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Google quickly denied that user information was at risk. A spokesperson recently stated, “A recent claim about security on Google Home Hub is inaccurate. The APIs mentioned in this claim are used by mobile apps to configure the device and are only accessible when those apps and the Google Home device are on the same WiFi network.” Google also argued that its uses a “hardware-protected boot mechanism” to guarantee that only its code can be used on the device.

Google Home Hub is a smart home controller that is similar to Google Home and Google Home Max. However, it incorporates a 7-inch touch display and uses Google Voice Match to identify the speaker and display content. It is also compatible with smart devices such as the Nest Cam or Nest Hello Video Doorbell.

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The Google Home Hub faces some stiff competition. Unlike the Amazon Echo Show and Lenovo Smart Display, the Google Home Hub does not include a camera. That feature could sway consumers one way or another depending on their needs. 

Google will also need to contend with the newly announced Facebook Portal/Portal+. These smart displays include a four-microphone array and built-in webcams. The displays also include privacy caps for when the cameras are not in use and Facebook insists that communication is private. The Google Home Hub is being marketed as a way to control smart homes, but the Facebook Portal and Portal+ are advertised as a convenient way to communicate with loved ones.