New UK legislation set to eradicate default passwords


In a significant move to regulatory infrastructure in the UK, the government has introduced the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure (PSTI) Bill, which looks to bolster safeguarding for security within smart devices. 

The legislation means that default passwords are a thing of the past – with their integration leading to fines and sanctions. 

It looks to combat a rise in home fraud, which has seen weak wifi security lead to plethora of problems, as hackers target webcams, televisions and other household items that link with the internet. 

Furthermore, in implementing the new set of standards, the government drew attention to a case involving a casino four years ago, when a fish tank was targeted by criminals as part of a lucrative hacking attempt.  

Having been under consultation for an extended period of time, the legislation now takes initial steps into integration as the halting of easy-to-guess passwords takes hold, with firms requiring a unique password with each product. 

Julia Lopez, Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure, commented: “Every day hackers attempt to break into people’s smart devices. Most of us assume if a product is for sale, it’s safe and secure. Yet many are not, putting too many of us at risk of fraud and theft.

“Our bill will put a firewall around everyday tech from phones and thermostats to dishwashers, baby monitors and doorbells, and see huge fines for those who fall foul of tough new security standards.”

The new legislation doesn’t solely apply to UK products, but also to tech products that enter the UK market and are available to consumers in the region.