Hacking The Joy Out of The Holidays

Emerald City Solutions

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♫ Hack the toys with no encryption…Fa La La La La…La La La La… 

Connected toys are all the rage, but how secure are they? Many toys today come with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and mobile apps that enhance the experience of playtime. However, these toy manufacturing companies overlooked the ability for a professional hacker to gain access to many toys like Furby, Cloudpets and more. Take a look at the potential outcome:

These toys had Bluetooth, Wi-Fi connectivity, and the ability to talk to a child. A recent study found it very easy for a stranger to talk to a child through the toy when the Bluetooth connection was not secure; meaning the hacker did not need a password, pin code or any type of authentication to gain access. This means any person could “hack” your child’s toy without much of a technical background.

Another cause for concern is that Bluetooth usually has a range of about 10 meters, which means the hacker has to be close enough to the toy with their own device in order to hack it. They could easily have their system set up in a van and roll down the street looking for unsecured toys.

Here are a few tips to keep your kids and home safe this holiday season:

  1. Don’t buy a connected toy unless you have done research and know the toy is safe.
  2. Stay informed about any security and software updates for the toy.
  3. Check if any recordings devices in the toy can be manually de-activated.
  4. Ensure your home network is secure and all your devices are behind a firewall.

Don’t let a Grinch steal your holiday happiness. This holiday season, stay on top of tech toys and the security risks they carry.

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