Amazon’s In-Home Delivery Isn’t Airtight Just Yet

Two general responses emerged last month after Amazon announced a new product to enable home deliveries that open your front door to the delivery worker, whether you're home or not. There were those who cheered Amazon Key for its convenience and forward-thinkingness, and there were those who were appalled by the proposition that a tech and data giant would also let strangers enter your house at will.

Amazon promised that they'd never send such a product to market without extensive security measures in place. Unfortunately, white-hat hackers have already found Key's weak spot. Wired reported Thursday that security researchers disabled and froze the Amazon Key's camera, which could allow thieves to pull of an Ocean's 11-style "loop innocuous footage" stunt while regaining entry to a Key-outfitted home. This could be accomplished by anyone within Wi-Fi range, and it's a known problem for "internet of things" devices that rely on wireless communication.

Naturally, Amazon has sought to reassure customers that it has a number of backup strategies in place to keep your property and personal space safe. That goes double for its human element: "Safety and security are built into every aspect of the service. Every delivery driver passes a comprehensive background check that is verified by Amazon before they can make in-home deliveries, every delivery is connected to a specific driver, and before we unlock the door for a delivery, Amazon verifies that the correct driver is at the right address, at the intended time," a representative told Wired in a statement. "We currently notify customers if the camera is offline for an extended period. Later this week, we will deploy an update to more quickly provide notifications if the camera goes offline during delivery. The service will not unlock the door if the Wi-Fi is disabled and the camera is not online."

That said, the white hats aren't so certain Amazon Key is a good investment yet. There are still too many simple ways to fool the camera mechanism and disable the front door's lock. If you were hoping package delivery's inevitable disruption would go smoothly, clearly that's not the case.