** Amazon shares your WiFi with others - security alert **

LarrylLix

Senior Member
Amazon Sidewalk is a WiFi sharing technology that was enacted and enabled for your account. This is one of the problems with sharing your WiFi password that Amazon and others do.

I recommend everybody owning Alexa devices have a look at this. It may be a gross security hole for your LAN.


Here is a link with instructions to remove this security leak.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=GZ4VSNFMBDHLRJUK
 
 
Sorry. This forum posted this three times in HTML code. I am not going to redo it again. Use the bottom link for instructions.
 

pete_c

Guru
And you have to do this with your mobile app.  I noticed the Amazon Alexa web page does not include those options of shutting off sidewalk.
 

LarrylLix

Senior Member
pete_c said:
And you have to do this with your mobile app.  I noticed the Amazon Alexa web page does not include those options of shutting off sidewalk.
I am beginning to believe there is a good reason Amazon has crippled the Win 10 app,  so that every Alexa user must load the app onto a mobile device. After so many updates the Win 10 app can still not perform certain critical operations to setup an Alexa system.
 

ano

Senior Member
I haven't seen anyone prove a security risk, however, most ISP's have rules that prevent Internet sharing with home accounts, so even allowing this could get you kicked off your ISP.  At the very least, it should be opt-in and not opt-out.  Amazon's overreach is why I'm removing my RING cameras also.
 

LarrylLix

Senior Member
Now I have seen articles that tell how the system works. It won;t be your WiFi that is accessed but rather a separate 900 MHz protocol that is capable of further distances. Apparently the bridging is done in the newer Echoes (ball style) and other Amazon devices.
 
If I read it correctly the idea is to provide an Amazon network that even passerbies can connect to, and be passed through your LAN, to the cloud. There could be many uses for this but I am sure most people aren't going to like having their paid for Internet access, used by neighbours or strangers devices, as they pass by on the street.
 

ano

Senior Member
Many years ago, before phones all had Wi-Fi, there was a standard where Bluetooth access points could allow phones with Bluetooth only Internet access. It flopped.  
 
Apparently some newer Echo devices, and some Ring spotlight cameras have this 900 Mhz.  So if your neighbor has one also, they can use your Internet to connect.
 
I might note that the Ring Spotlight cam had horrible Wi-Fi reception and I have two business access points in my house.  Maybe if Amazon worked at getting better WiFi radios, they wouldn't need another radio using your neighbor's WiFi for coverage. I'm not so sure other people will be passing by your house with 900Mhz radios to use your WiFi. That doesn't exist today, but Amazon could certainly make those devices in the future.
 
Around here Cox communications, an ISP, if you rent their WiFi router, activates a feature so every router is a public WiFi hotspot for other Cox customers. I'm not sure if you can turn that off, but its a bit like Amazon is doing, but at least Cox is the ISP, where Amazon isn't.
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
My wife brought this up to me as she read or heard about it on some sort of NPR news source.  They claimed it was enabled by default, yet my account showed disabled when I checked.
 
FYI, instructions for checking this are below:
 
sidewalk.jpg
 

ano

Senior Member
Mine on the Amazon app. was set to disabled, but on the Ring app. it was enabled. 
 
If you believe what Amazon is saying, this "feature" is only to give better coverage to your Amazon devices that don't have good coverage.   If your WiFi can't provide the coverage, let the neighbor's Internet do it.  So Amazon they put 900 Mhz radios in millions of devices for ONLY that purpose??  I don't believe it.   So they get a big F for transparency.  
 

pvrfan

Active Member
This thread is repeating a lot of misinformation regarding Sidewalk.  A couple of major clarifications:
 
 
... the Sidewalk Network [...] would only siphon up to 500 MB a month (that’s half a gigabyte), they noted; in the meantime, the company released a paper explaining how the Sidewalk protocol worked from both a security and privacy perspective. It’s really important to note that Amazon cannot see the packets sent over the network, nor can it see how those packets are routed. ...
 
https://staceyoniot.com/planning-to-reject-amazon-sidewalk-do-it-for-the-right-reasons/
 
The linked article is well worth reading.  
 
Craig
NB: I personally won't be enabling Sidewalk as I won't allow any Amazon devices in my house for completely separate reasons!
 

pete_c

Guru
Personally it is good to be aware of this stuff BUT not to get paranoid of this stuff.
 
Your Amazon Alexa devices (Android OS) are stationary and live in your home.
 
Your smart phone that is on 24/7 and is running XX apps your geo location now with both sound / video in and out, smart watch info like your BP, Pulse, when you are awake, when you sleep et al.
 
You are connected 24/7 to the cloud carrying your smart phone all over.  
 
Had an interesting discussion with the Ring support folks last year.  They told me the only good support of using Ring is to manage it with the Ring app on my Android phone which when running tells me everything.  I still really only use the web gui and my Ring to MQTT plugin as I shut off my cell phone when I am in the house.  If someone calls the cell phone number have it configured to say the line is disconnected.  When giving out my cell phone number I do not rather just give out my GV number.
 
You want privacy....then don't use the internet or cell phone or Amazon/Google devices or services, social services (Facebook, Twitter, et al)
Disconnect yourself from the internet.

I am a bit in to sci fi here books and movies...

From Trueblood Wiki - ;)

Entry to homes: Vampires cannot enter private human homes unless they are invited in by the owner of the house. Vampires do not need to be invited into public places (such as bars or restaurants). Humans can rescind their invitations from vampires, which causes the vampire to immediately leave the house. Vampires can get around this by glamouring a person into inviting them in.
 

LarrylLix

Senior Member
《snippage》
From Trueblood Wiki - ;)
Entry to homes: Vampires cannot enter private human homes unless they are invited in by the owner of the house. Vampires do not need to be invited into public places (such as bars or restaurants). Humans can rescind their invitations from vampires, which causes the vampire to immediately leave the house. Vampires can get around this by glamouring a person into inviting them in.[/quote]

Is that the Amazon legal agreement?

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