Google kills access to Xiaomi smart devices due to security concerns (Updated)

[ UPDATE 4/1/2020 20:30 ] Google has restored Assistant integration for Mi Home products. You can now control your smart home appliance via Google Home.

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If you currently use Google Assistant to control your Xiaomi smart devices, you probably get an error message if you try to issue commands with your voice. Apparently, a security breach has surfaced and Google has taken the immediate step to disconnect Mi Home integration early this morning.

According to a Reddit post, a user had tried to access his Xiaomi smart camera from his Google Home Hub. Instead of getting a live feed from his camera via Nest Hub, it showed corrupted still images from other homes. We can’t verify the authenticity of the images but it seems to be critical enough for Google to take further action. Based on the “Mi” icon on the top left corner of the timestamp, the extra footages appear to be recorded from a Mi smart device.

Below is Google’s statement on the matter to Android Authority:

We’re aware of the issue and are in contact with Xiaomi to work on a fix. In the meantime, we’re disabling Xiaomi integrations on our devices.

We’ve reached out to Xiaomi and they have provided the following statement:

Xiaomi has always prioritized our users’ privacy and information security. We are aware there was an issue of receiving stills while connecting Mi Home Security Camera Basic 1080p on Google Home hub. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused to our users.

Our team has since acted immediately to solve the issue and it is now fixed. Upon investigation, we have found out the issue was caused by a cache update on December 26, 2019, which was designed to improve camera streaming quality. This has only happened in extremely rare conditions. In this case, it happened during the integration between Mi Home Security Camera Basic 1080p and the Google Home Hub with a display screen under poor network conditions. 

We have also found 1044 users were with such integrations and only a few with extremely poor network conditions might be affected. This issue will not happen if the camera is linked to the Xiaomi’s Mi Home app. 

Xiaomi has communicated and fixed this issue with Google, and has also suspended this service until the root cause has been completely solved, to ensure that such issues will not happen again.

We still don’t know how long will it take to restore the Google Assistant integration, but for now, you can still access your Xiaomi smart devices via the Mi Home/Mi Jia app. Do you use Google Assistant to control your Mi Home devices? Let us know in the comments below.

SEE ALSO:  Xiaomi Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro: Everything you need to know

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Alexander Wong