Scary Flaw Lets Hackers Target Dementia Suffers

cheerful senior mother and adult daughter using smartphone together

Security experts Pen Test Partners discovered a frightening security flaw in an app used to control a smart watch. The flaw allows hackers to target the must vulnerable part of the population, folks living with dementia or other cognitive impairments

The watch in question was marketed to the elderly and their caregivers. It used GPS tracking to locate the wearer in case they wandered off. It also had a feature that reminded the user when to take their medications. The app is called SETracker.

Pen Test Partners was easily able to track the watch and trigger multiple alerts to take medication. If the wearer has memory issues, he or she might not remember if they’ve already taken their pills or not. This could potentially lead to an overdose.

Photo from Pen Test Partners

The same company manufactures smart watches for children. The experts were also able to trigger alerts to take pills on those watches.

The security flaw wasn’t just found on the app associated with the watch. According to Pen Test, it is also used on:

  • Audio head units
  • Auto Trackers
  • Other Tracking Units

In addition to sending pill alerts, Pen Test experts were able to:

  • Spy on any device with the app
  • Fake a message to a child from a parent
  • Make a device call or text any phone number
  • Stop the engine of a vehicle
  • Access the camera of all devices.

The experts contacted the developers of the devices. They fixed the flaw in the app. However, Pen Test warns that many more devices have similar flaws.

Click here to read the full details about the flaw.

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