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FTC, D-Link Reach Agreement Over Device Security

Taiwan-based networking equipment manufacturer D-Link has agreed to implement a comprehensive security program to settle accusations by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) claiming that the company failed to implement proper security mechanisms in its routers and IP cameras.

The FTC filed a lawsuit against D-Link in January 2017, saying that the company not only failed to secure its products, but also that it made deceptive claims about how secure they are. A few days later, D-Link announced that it had hired government watchdog Cause of Action Institute to help it fight the charges.

The accusations included failure to take reasonable steps to secure the software running on its devices, falsely claiming that it took steps to prevent unauthorized access, and falsely claiming that the devices were secure. Some of the charges were dismissed by a judge in September 2017.

The FTC announced on Tuesday that it reached an agreement with D-Link. The tech firm will have to implement a comprehensive software security program whose goal is to ensure that its IP cameras and routers are secure.

The program includes the implementation of security planning, threat modeling, testing products for security holes before their release, accepting vulnerability reports from external researchers, ongoing monitoring of flaws, and automatic firmware updates.

Additionally, D-Link will have to obtain independent assessments of its security program every two years over the next 10 years. The assessor will be chosen by the vendor, but it will have to be approved by the FTC.

“We sued D-Link over the security of its routers and IP cameras, and these security flaws risked exposing users’ most sensitive personal information to prying eyes,” said Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Manufacturers and sellers of connected devices should be aware that the FTC will hold them to account for failures that expose user data to risk of compromise.”

Related: Mobile Phone Maker Settles With FTC Over Data Collection

Related: Facebook Anticipates an FTC Privacy Fine of up to $5 Billion

Related: Asus Settles FTC Charges Over Router Security

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.