2 companies respond in very different ways to a PR crisis
In October 2017, Amazon debuted Amazon Key, its answer to the ongoing problem of porch theft. Home delivery of everything from groceries to jewelry has become ubiquitous as Amazon’s market share grows and influences American shopping patterns. Meanwhile, package purloiners have learned to reach for the low-hanging fruit of unattended front-door parcels. Enter the Amazon Key, a cloud-based security camera linked to a door lock that grants delivery people admittance to drop off packages, safeguarded with autolock settings at their departure.
One problem: As with all internet-connected devices, Amazon Key is vulnerable to hacking.
Cybersecurity company Rhino Security Labs exploited an authorization point in the wireless connection to take the entire device offline. To a remote user viewing the video feed, it appears the entry is secure. While offline, a hacker keeps the internet-controlled key in the open position without immediate detection. These vulnerabilities allow either a delivery person covert re-entry to the home or clever criminals to override the system immediately following a delivery to access a victim’s home for their own nefarious purposes.
Here is where public relations professionals’ dreams and nightmares coincide.