Toy Teddy Bears Expose 2 Million Children To Online Predators

Technology
Toy Teddy Bears Expose 2 Million Children To Online Predators PHOTOGRAPH: Youtube/ CloudPets |

Toy teddy bears that compromised personal security has made headlines. When people thought the Internet and hackers were the dangerous ones, the seemingly cute CloudPets changed the whole game. Apparently, these adorable stuff toys exposed more than 2 million voice recordings of parents and children.

Technology is rapidly progressing and so is everything else. Looking back more than a decade ago, toys were simple and safe for children to use. CloudPets previously were simply internet connected toys. They can record and play voice messages made by parents and children. While technology and toys seem like a good match, especially because of all the possibilities, the latest news says otherwise.

CloudPets, The Dangers Of Toys

According to Ars Technica, Spiral Toys, the makers of the CloudPets line of stuffed toys was compromised. Over 800,000 accounts were affected and exposed e-mail addresses and password data. The account data was left in a publicly available database that was not protected at all. This is a major blooper by the company as they did not even think of even putting up a firewall or password.

In a blog post of Troy Hunt, he noted that since December 25 to January 8 the data has been accessed. He used the Shodan computer search engine and found evidence. The data was accessed by multiple parties multiple times. This also included criminals who held the data for ransom.

Not The First Time for Children Toys to be Compromised

While many may think that CloudPets is the first to pose this kind of privacy risk, there are many others. In fact, the idea of this kind of toy is practically unoriginal given how technology managed to progress over the years. Manufacturers sough out the Internet as a way to give new generation toys an edge.

An internet connected doll called “Cayla” was banned in Germany. The Germans saw the potential risk early on. Banning the doll meant they did not want kids involved in privacy risks. There was also “Hello Barbie” that made headlines for the same reason.

Advancement In Technology

However, toys are not the only threat to the privacy and protection of children. Technology in general is dangerous for children, who do not know any better. Unless a company or manufacturer does a great job in ensuring the safety of the young users. There is a lot to be worried about. According to Hunt, the VTech data breach should serve as staunch warning. This piece of tech exposed the accounts publicly. It made children’s names, birthdates, photos, genders, and parents’ information accessible.

With over 2.2 million voice recordings publicly available, none of those who purchased the toy are safe. Spiral Toys have yet to make a statement regarding the latest news on their CloudPets toy line. The toy retails for $39.99 and have not been recalled yet.

Youtube/CloudPets

Sources: Troy Hunt, Ars Technica

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