Your smartwatch may know more about you than any other device, thanks to built-in health sensors and constant access to your smartphone, but it turns out that data may not be as safe we as hoped. A new study shared with CNET, and conducted by researchers at the University of New Haven, reveals that some wearables from LG and Samsung may be particularly easy to hack.
The study focused on LG’s original G Watch along with Samsung’s Gear 2 Neo, and revealed that neither device offers data encryption. Specifically, researches were able to access their calendar, contacts, email address and pedometer data stored on the LG smartwatch. The Gear 2 Neo also gave up information from apps for health, email, messages and contacts.
“It was not very difficult to get the data,” said Ibrahim Baggili, who co-authored the study, “but expertise and research was required.”
The hack was carried out by searching through each watch’s onboard storage. The same group is also testing other devices, including the Apple Watch, and it plans to present a full report this August at a digital forensics conference in May.
Encrypting all this information seems like an easy solution, but Baggili says it’s not that simple. “Just because encryption is enabled does not mean it is implemented in a way that does not allow us to defeat the encryption,” Baggili told CNET.
Baggili notes that the best way to protect your data is to simply hold onto your smartwatch. You should be safe as long as you don’t lose it, at least from this kind of attack.