Security Researcher Gets Threats Over Amazon Review

Kate Conger, reporting for TechCrunch:Amazon retailers sometimes go to extreme lengths to guarantee good reviews, as security developer Matthew Garrett recently discovered when he wrote a one-star review of an internet-connected electric socket. When Garrett politely pointed out that the socket in question was woefully insecure, he received emails from the manufacturer claiming that the review would get employees fired and that other reviewers were campaigning to get Garrett’s review taken down. The socket in question is the AuYou Wi-Fi Switch, a $30 device that lets you turn the power from a wall outlet on and off using your phone. […] But like so many Internet of Things devices, the AuYou switch seems to have a serious security flaw. As Garrett explains in his review, if your phone is connected to your home Wi-Fi, it sends the on/off command to the socket directly. But if you’re not home, your phone sends the command to a server in China, which then passes the command along to the socket. “The command packets look like they’re encrypted, but in reality there’s no real cryptography here at all,” Garrett explained in his review. […] “Just now my boss has blamed me, and he said if I do not remove this bad review, he will quit me. Please help me,” the representative wrote. “Could you please change your bad review into good?” Garrett responded that he would update the review if the manufacturer fixed the flaw. The AuYou representative insisted she would be fired if the review was not updated.

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