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Chinese brand Roborock Sucks Up Ex Huawei Execs For Oz Roll Out

Roborock a new Company flogging Chinese robotic vacuum cleaners is looking to take on market leaders Ecovacs, iRobot and Dyson n Australia despite questions being raised about security issues associated with their products in the past.

According to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission the sole director of Roborock Technology Australia is Timothy Chung of Punchbowl NSW.

Roborock claims that they specialise in manufacturing robotic vacuum cleaners and other smart home appliances.

The company was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Beijing, China.

Roborock robot vacuum cleaners feature advanced navigation and cameras that some reviewers are questioning as these cameras can see what is happening inside a house.

Their current product range includes the Roborock S6, S7, and S7 MaxV robot vacuums.

In addition to robot vacuums, Roborock also offers other smart home appliances, such as air purifiers and robot mops.

Ted Wu former Oppo Australia Distributor executive

Recently the business appointed former Oppo executive Ted Wu as Country Manager for Australia.

De describes himself as a ‘specialist in different consumer devices” and has 10+ years’ experience in Product management & Go To Market including 7+ years’ experience in ANZ consumer device market.

There was no mention of the ill fated Konec Home and Konec Solutions brand which Oppo distributor OMC Electronics tried to get off the ground in Australia.

Jade Tang former Huawei PR Manager Consumer, now Marketing Manager at Roborock.

The new business has also invested in ex Huawei Consumer executives despite the failure of the Huawei brand in Australia.

Among the new hires is  former Huawei PR Manager is Jade Tang who has taken on the role of Marketing Manager.

Tang was known for trying to isolate journalists who questioned the actions of Huawei who were banned in Australia, the UK and Australia.

Currently the business is advertising for a National Sales Manager.

When the AVTest lab which is owned by the IT Security Institute tested a Roborock Robotic vacuum cleaner they discovered several issues. In a report they wrote that in external communication, which is much more relevant for attacks, three out of four test candidates in the test lab demonstrated decent defensive behaviour.

Questions raised about what video or data is being captured via the cameras in Chinese Companies robotic vacuum cleaners. 

Not only Dyson and iRobot but also the Kobold from Vorwerk rely on TLS encryption for communication in its secure version 1.2 with connected cloud services and for data exchange between cloud and app.

On the Roborock, however, the testers encountered partially unencrypted wireless transmission. That is because the Xiaomi vacuum cleaner also uses partially unencrypted UDP connections for external communication. This traffic can be intercepted and manipulated, e.g., within the scope of a man-in-the-middle attack. In addition, there were potential vulnerabilities in TLS-encrypted connections. Due to insufficient verification of certificates on encrypted connections, the testers were able to manipulate data streams and read their contents.

They went on to say that it should be noted that Roborock, like all other Xiaomi smart home products, is controlled from a central app. This means that attackers may not only gain access to the robot vacuum but also to more critical smart home components from the manufacturer.

They went on to conclude that “Due partly to gross security deficiencies in data transmission, the transfer of data to third parties, the app’s unexplainable thirst for data, as well as a clear need for improvement in the statement on the handling of customer data, the Roborock S55 only receives one of three possible stars. Considering data security and with respect to privacy protection, the AV-Test Institute cannot recommend this robot vacuum’.

See report here.