Nest Devices Get an Added Security Layer

Google is extending its Advanced Protection Program to Nest devices. This program would provide customers, who are at a high risk of being targeted online, with an added security layer.

What is happening

Google, in a blog post, announced that a user can now use their Google account for both Advanced Protection Program and Nest at the same time. Although the program is designed for high-risk targets, such as politicians, journalists, and activists, it is available for anyone to join.

Attacks on Google Nest

  • Earlier this year, scammers targeted users with Google Nest security camera footage as a part of a sextortion campaign. This scam affected 1,700 people, mostly in the U.S.
  • Last year October, it was reported that the Nest camera in a Californian home was hacked and a woman’s voice was heard screaming, “ I’m coming for your baby.”
  • In 2019, an Illinois couple fell victim to an attack where the actors hurled obscenities at their child over their Nest camera and turned up their thermostat to 90 degrees.

Due to the above cyberattacks, it was a necessity to integrate the Advanced Protection Program with Nest devices. In order to enroll in Advanced Protection, users require two physical security keys - a main and a backup, or:
  • An Android phone running version 7.0 and higher or an iOS device running version 10.0 and higher.
  • Android users can activate the built-in security key, whereas iOS users are required to download the Google Smart Lock app.

Earlier this year, Google had also rolled out various security features to Nest, including 2FA for users who had not yet shifted from Nest accounts to Google accounts.  

This security option issued by Google blocks the installation of apps from outside the Play Store and limits the apps that can use Google data. Google has advised that if a Nest user is enrolled in Advanced Protection, their other family members should also enroll in the security program.