Skip to main content

Nest Cam security cam can't be shut down completely

Nest Cam, the security camera which allows 1080p streaming, doesn't really power off when you turn it off, security researchers have found.

According to reserachers from ABI Research, when you turn the camera off, it still uses pretty much the same amount of power, which they believe is a huge security flaw.

Jim Mielke, a senior analyst at the company explained: "When a device goes to power down mode, you expect the current drain to drop quite a bit. In this case, the current drain only changed slightly when given the turn off command, reducing from 370 mA to 340 mA. Typically, a shutdown or standby mode would reduce current by as much as 10 to 100 times. This means that even when a consumer thinks that he or she is successfully turning off this camera, the device is still running, which could potentially unleash a tidal wave of privacy concerns."

Nest, who is owned by Google, responded by telling IT Pro the report is true and the camera doesn't completely shut down. However, it doesn't transmit any data.

"When Nest Cam is turned off from the user interface (UI), it does not fully power down, as we expect the camera to be turned on again at any point in time," the company said in a statement.

"With that said, when Nest Cam is turned off, it completely stops transmitting video to the cloud, meaning it no longer observes its surroundings."

Nest Cam uses 128-bit SSL to protect customer data, which it says safeguards against anyone hacking into the data while the camera is operational or in 'off' mode.