A model wearing Google Glass participates in a run through before the Diane Von Furstenberg Spring 2013 collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
A developer alleges that the Google Glass prototype can be hacked
to compromise the system.
Jay Freeman wrote in a blog post
that he could gain complete control of the Google Glass operating system through a hack, or "jailbreak" to remove Google-made restrictions. However, it could also mean that others could start installing "surveillance malware," according to Forbes..
The Explorer version of Google Glass, which he received as a developer, doesn't have any authentication code. That means that if left unattended, anyone could attach a USB cable and install a program that could upload user images, video or audio -- essentially anything a wearer would see or hear. From the blog post:
“Once the attacker has root on your Glass, they have much more power than if they had access to your phone or even your computer: They have control over a camera and a microphone that are attached to your head,” writes Freeman. “A bugged Glass doesn’t just watch your every move: it watches everything you are looking at (intentionally or furtively) and hears everything you do. The only thing it doesn’t know are your thoughts.”
Worse, Freeman says Glass can see users type passwords as they write them. If a hacker gains access to Glass, they will know all of a user's passwords, security codes or even take pictures of house keys. Others Glass testers, such as Tim Stevens at Engadget, also wrote about Glass having no lockscreen and essentially no security.
It's highly likely that Google will fix the security bug by its launch next year. Unfortunately the tech giant doesn't seem very worried. Googler Tim Bray wrote in response to Glass being hackable, "Duh."
We hope that Google takes the hackability factor seriously and creates a modicum of security for the accessory. Otherwise users can never let it out of their sight.