The toy industry is growing at a very rapid pace, as well as almost every other industry nowadays. So, why shouldn’t a developer partner up with other developing industries, so as to take over the market together? Just in time for Christmas, we are able to see the release of the newest hackable toy – Hello Barbie.
You probably thought that Hasbro would most certainly take the cake for the creepiest toy in recent history, with their announcement about making realistic cats for old people, but the people behind Barbie decided to compete, and oh boy, they won big-time.
The company released slightly before Christmas the Hello Barbie, a Barbie doll that can talk. It may not seem that impressive, but it doesn’t just repeat the same things over and over again, like toys used to back in the day.
No, this one decided to go one step beyond, and therefore is connected to the Internet.
This allows it to choose from a number of responses, pretty much like Cortana or Siri.
And that isn’t the creepiest part about it. If you can talk to your phone and your phone can talk back to you, why shouldn’t a doll talk to children?
As it turns out, there is something a lot more sinister going on deep inside the innards of your kid’s new favorite toy.
Technically, not inside the doll, since the internet is what’s causing the issue, but still, the doll itself is definitely cause for concern.
The hacking possibilities
An freelance security researcher named Andrew Hay, along with Bluebox Security, brought to the attention of the toy’s producers the fact that the doll can be hacked.
The toy that has seen more or less world-wide distribution is easily hackable by anyone with a bare minimum of hacking and networking knowledge.
According to the informants, a hacker could easily intercept the owners’ data sent to the Hello Barbie servers, and also steal the information stored there.
If that wasn’t creepy enough, the insecure connection could easily be used to gain access to other dolls.
A hacker would do this by hacking the doll’s companion app, and then connecting the device with the app to any Wi-Fi network with ‘Barbie’ in the name.
If there isn’t a connection that has Barbie in the name, it’s ok; hackers can make one themselves, or just change the name of your connection.
Image source: Flickr