Children’s toy was taught how to swear

Specialists at a British company Pen Test Partners, known, among other things, for discovering vulnerabilities in “smart” kids’ toys are still on the “hunt”. Their new target is a talking robot bird Teksta Toucan. Pen Test Partners engineers easily “taught” a bird how to swear and posted the video where Teksta Toucan is doing just that online. According to one of the company’s researchers Ken Munro, the task wasn’t very hard. First of all, Teksta Toucan is a Bluetooth device and uses an unencrypted connection.  This is why you can simply connect it to a smartphone or a computer and broadcast any audio files through it. In addition, the toy can also be hacked and all of the audio files in its system can be replaced with any other.

It’s unlikely that the parents will be fond of a swearing toy for children; however, this is not the biggest danger of the Teksta Toucan. Criminals can use robot bird’s microphone to record sounds and therefore spy on children. It’s noteworthy that it’s a Hong Kong manufacturer Genesis Industries Ltd that makes Teksta Toucan, and cybersecurity experts heavily criticized its products in the past as well. For example, in the beginning of the year “smart” doll Cayla manufactured by Genesis Industries as well was forbidden in Germany. It had almost the same “set” of vulnerabilities as Teksta Toucan. Ken Munro expressed hope that the robot bird would suffer the same fate. He also highlighted that if the manufacturer had taken at least minimal steps to strengthen the security of the toys, such attacks would have been impossible.

source:  Technical Center of Internet

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