Barbie doll lovers around the world have been cautioned to beware of their dolls as they could be used to spy on your voice records. The internet of things has eventually found its way into dolls whereby the Barbies can be used to transmit the data via Wi-Fi to the host servers. The voice data on the server can be breached by the hackers.
Though I have nothing against the dolls, Barbies have repeatedly come under heat for promoting certain kind of snob culture. Thus, these dolls have repeatedly been denounced by the female activists around the world because the girls are influenced to value the unrealistic beauty standards set by Barbie.
The latest range of Barbies is equipped with voice recognition capability that uses the overseas servers of the Barbie doll company to recognize the words and respond accordingly. Albeit being an excellent piece of tech allowing children to interact with a responsive doll, cracks have already begun to appear in the system.
The server data is vulnerable to hacking attacks and can allow the hackers to gain access and keep a tab on the incidents inside the house. Although there have been no reported cases of wrongdoing, a network security firm named Bluebox Labs and an independent researcher Andrew Hay have confirmed the possibility of hacking into the server system of Barbie. Both of them released a set of security lapses in the system of the Mattel and Toytalk collaboration that produced the world’s first voice recognition based talking Barbies.
Andrew Blaich, a senior researcher at Bluebox Labs, said in an interview with Motherboard.
“As more and more stuff is connected to the network and we’re sending more stuff to servers that we don’t know where they may be located and what sort of security is on them, the best advice for parents is to be careful and be aware of what information they’re sending through internet-connected devices.”
The encryption technique being used by Toytalk was found to be extremely vulnerable to a well-known cyber attack called Poodle Attack. Poodle Attack downgrades the software used to operate the toy to make it more susceptible to infiltrators who can easily snoop in and get any kind of data they want, probably even carry out live surveillance just like NSA itself!
Toytalk was quick to respond to this revelation and told the Gizmodo mag that they appreciate the good work and faith shown by Bluebox Labs and are currently working with them to remove these issues. The latest reports from the company indicate that the system has now been fixed and better encryption is now in place.
Even then, the upgraded network security will not keep out the determined hackers as the encryption can be broken by powerful computers and high-tech anti-encryption software.
I wonder who has resources like these?? Shush! Don’t say the ” N” word!