In a report that comes as no surprise to anyone anymore, but a toy that combines with technology has been found to include a glaring security loophole. It is found that the Fisher-Price Smart Bear open to hacking, compromising sensitive information about the child the toy is intended for. Security experts at a Boston-based company, Rapid7, discovered that when the toy connects to the app, it is highly susceptible to hacking.
The attack would expose the child’s name, birthdate and gender, as well as any additional information. The Smart Toy bear is wifi enabled, allowing the toy to be connected to the internet remotely, transmitting data. Luckily, Mattel have moved quickly to fix the situation and subsequently released a statement assuring parents that no breach of data has been recognised and hackers had not accessed any sensitive information.
This potential security problem is the third of its kind, following on from the Barbie that was also wireless enabled to transmit information back to a server in order to interact with children. Korean toy company V-Tech also had a similar run in with data breaching and potential hacks when their software, which was linked with sensitive data, could also be exposed if abused. But unlike the other two, Mattel have appeared to have moved swiftly in eradicating the problem before problems had even arisen.
Even though this problem was quickly resolved, it only shows how exposed consumers are becoming when more and more possessions become ‘smart’ and internet-enabled. It might be convenient or even more helpful, but the risks only increase, and when compared to the recent data breaches suffered by large companies such as Sony, nobody is truly safe. If a company such as TalkTalk suffered such a large scale data breach, exposing thousands of customers to identity theft, as well as card fraud, then there is no telling what a smaller company can suffer. If the major corporations and companies are so lacklustre when it comes to data protection for their customers, how can a smaller company with less resources protect their customer’s data.
This all leads to making sure you are safe with your own data online, ensuring your passwords are strong enough, as well as your online activity it safeguarded. One way this can be achieved is by signing up to Le VPN and using a VPN service to protect your online activity. By encrypting your internet connection, you will be safe in the knowledge your data is safe from prying hackers and potential snoopers.
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