Some wireless toys could be vulnerable to hackers
We've all heard of the "internet of things" but what about the "internet of toys?"
Some of the hottest gifts on Christmas wish lists this year are connected toys.
Brian Wood reports about the risks and vulnerabilities of connected toys.
Payton Bird and Chris Nochez think this robot car kit would be a pretty cool gift.
It comes with a wireless camera, hooks up to the home Wi-Fi and is controlled by an app on a tablet or phone. But, as much fun as it might be, this toy, and others like it are vulnerable to hackers.
Travis Smith, a hacker for Tripwire, said, “They put this toy away I was able to then turn it back on point the camera directly at them and zoom in and see exactly what they were doing.”
And it was easy.
Smith said, “This took me two hours to figure out how to break into this specific toy.”
He may be wearing black, but Smith is a "white hat" hacker working for Tripwire, a technology security company.
Smith said, "Any device that you put on your network is increasing what we call your attack surface.”
Payton's mom thought she was security conscious at home.
Bird said, "But I never thought of anything with cameras or people being able to peer in."
Since this toy is designed for kids to learn about software coding, the company making it told us:
"people can learn things, and the security issue is not so considered."
Many companies do what they can to keep their systems secure, but Smith says there are steps you should take.
He said, "Number one, change the password. Number two, apply updates when available. Number three, power it off if you don't need it."
Because it is not just your kids at risk.
Smith said, "While your child is playing with this toy, or it is sitting on the counter, and you are logging into the bank account from your phone, I could potentially use this robot to spy on all of your banking information."