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Don’t trust smart home gadgets? The Echo Show 5, Facebook Portal and more are set to go under the microscope

Smart devices like Amazon’s ever-growing range of Echo speakers and the Google Nest Hub lineup have become pretty standard fixtures in people’s homes, but not everyone is enamoured with the idea of having an always-listening gadget… well, always listening to them.

If you feel wary of such devices, you might want to keep an eye on the upcoming Pwn2Own Tokyo event, at which several big-name smart home gadgets will be put through their paces by white hat hackers.

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The aim of the game is to discover and exploit security flaws in the devices. In exchange for cash prizes, of course. The smart home gadgets that will go under the microscope are:

“Trend Micro is offering cash and prizes during the competition for vulnerabilities and exploitation techniques against the listed targets,” the rules of the contest state.

Pwn2Own Tokyo contestants will have the opportunity to break a wide range of different devices from eight different categories, including smartphones, wearables, TVs and routers.

The highest profile devices include the Xiaomi Mi 9, Samsung Galaxy S10, Huawei P30, Google Pixel 3 XL, iPhone XS Max, Oppo F11 Pro, Apple Watch 4 and Oculus Quest.

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“More than $750,000 USD in cash and prizes are available to researchers with 17 different devices as potential targets in a total of eight different categories,” Trend Micro wrote in a Zero Day Initiative blog post announcing the event.

“As with our Vancouver contest, Pwn2Own Tokyo seeks to harden these devices and their OSes by revealing vulnerabilities and providing that research to the vendors. As always, the goal is to get these bugs fixed before they’re actively exploited.”

Pwn2Own Tokyo will kick off on November 6.

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