Archive for January 3, 2020

Xiaomi Smart Camera Caught Streaming Other People’s Feeds…. Google Takes Action

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 3, 2020 by itnerd

Xiaomi smart cameras have apparently got a bug where they are streaming strangers’ home camera feeds via the Google home hub. That’s not exactly trivial to say the least. Here’s the details:

One Xiaomi Mijia camera owner is getting still images from other random peoples’ homes when trying to stream content from his camera to a Google Nest Hub. The images include stills of people sleeping and even an infant in a cradle. In the meantime, Google has entirely disabled Xiaomi integration for Google Home and the Assistant while it works out the issue with Xiaomi.

This issue was first reported by user /r/Dio-V on Reddit and affects his Xiaomi Mijia 1080p Smart IP Security Camera, which can be linked to a Google account for use with Google/Nest devices through Xiaomi’s Mi Home app/service. It isn’t clear when Dio-V’s feed first began showing these still images into random homes or how long the camera was connected to his account before this started happening. He does state that both the Nest Hub and the camera were purchased new. 

Now it’s good that Google has taken action and nuked access for these cameras to their platform for the time being. But it illustrates that Internet of Things devices can often create security and privacy issues. Thus you need to choose carefully if you want to put any of these devices in your home. And even then you may still not be safe from something like this, or worse.