Smart toys have big security flaws, consumer report finds

Tuesday, 14 November 2017, 10:56:13 PM. Which? reports that it's far too easy to break into these Bluetooth-connected toys.
Some of the coolest gifts on the shelves this year have security flaws that leave them vulnerable to hacking and could put children at risk, a consumer safety group said Tuesday in a report. The UK-based group Which? researched connected toys and found vulnerabilities in several, including Furby Connect, I-Que Intelligent Robot, CloudPets and Toy-fi Teddy. It found that these toys use unsecured Bluetooth connections and that it would be "too easy" for someone to use them to talk to a child. "That person would need hardly any technical know-how to 'hack' your child's toy," the report warns. My Friend Cayla turned out to be too friendly. Which? noted that Bluetooth range is usually limited to about 10 metres (33 feet), so the main concern would be people nearby with malicious intent. However, it wouldn't be impossible to extend Bluetooth range.    As more toy makers add Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections to pack in new skills and features, regulators have kept an eye on them for security vulnerabilities. Earlier this year, German regulators removed from the market My Friend Cayla, a smart doll by Genesis Toys, and classified it as an "espionage device." CloudPets has been criticised for leaving account information and voice recordings exposed online. Hasbro, which makes Furby Connect, said that it is taking the report seriously and that children's privacy a top priority for the company. "While the researchers at Which? identified ways to manipulate the Furby Connect toy, we...Read more
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