Some doorbell cameras sold on Amazon and other online sites have major security flaws, report says

FILE - An Amazon company logo is seen on the facade of a company's building in Schoenefeld near Berlin, March 18, 2022. Frances privacy watchdog has slapped Amazons French warehouse arm with a 32 million euro fine for using an excessively intrusive sytem to monitor worker performance and activity. The regulator said Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024 the system allowed managers at Amazon France Logistique to track employees so closely that it resulted in multiple breaches of the European Unions stringent privacy rules. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File) (Michael Sohn, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

NEW YORK – Some doorbell cameras sold by Amazon and other online retailers have security flaws that could allow bad actors to view footage from the devices or control them completely, according to an investigation published Thursday by Consumer Reports.

Researchers from the product-review organization said they found major vulnerabilities in cameras manufactured by the Chinese company Eken Group Ltd., which produces video doorbells under the brand names EKEN and Tuck, among others.

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The devices have been sold online by Walmart, Shein, Sears and Temu, which said it removed Eken-made doorbells from its platform after Consumer Reports reached out to the company.

A Walmart spokesperson said the doorbell cameras Consumer Reports brought to its attention were listed on its marketplace by third-party sellers. The spokesperson said Walmart has removed those items and was offering refunds under its return policy.

Amazon, which has given the EKEN and Tuck doorbells its coveted “Amazon’s Choice” badge, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But the doorbell cameras appeared to be available on its site on Thursday.

Sears and Shein also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Researchers said the doorbell cameras made by Eken Group can be controlled by a company-operated app called Aiwit. They said bad actors can create an account on the app and gain access to a nearby doorbell camera by pairing it with another device. That gives them the ability to view footage — or access still images — and lock out the owner from the device, Consumer Reports said.

The group's researchers also found that some of the doorbell cameras don’t have a registration code required by the Federal Communications Commission.

“Major e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Walmart need to do a better job of vetting sellers and products sold on their platforms, so consumers are not put at risk,” Justin Brookman, director of tech policy at Consumer Reports, said in a statement.

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