Today’s sex toys are more than simple pleasure objects. Many sex toys now boast the technical capacity of micro computers that allow them to be updated, controlled remotely, and connected to apps to retrieve data on usage.
But, as with most smart, connected devices, there are downsides that accompany leaps in technology.
Ethical Hacking (of Sex Toys)
Enter Udo Schneider, Security Evangelist for Trend Micro, who surprised journalists at the CeBIT conference in Germany by placing a large pink vibrator on a desk. He then proceeded to turn on the sex toy by typing a couple of lines of code into his laptop.
“If I hack a vibrator it’s just fun, But if I can get to the back-end, I can strablackmail the manufacturer.”
While the demonstration prompted a few chuckles from the crowd, it also underscored the lack of proper safeguards on consumer devices that rely on internet connections for full functionality.
“If I hack a vibrator it’s just fun, But if I can get to the back-end, I can blackmail the manufacturer,” said Raimund Genes, Chief Technology Officer at Trend Micro.
Lack of Awareness
At issue is the lack of awareness of potential security threats for both consumers and companies. Consumers assume that most non PC products are generally safe to use and generally immune to hacking. This idea is reinforced because hackers depended on subtlety, secretly siphoning data from compromised devices.
As more and more sensitive data is exchanged through the internet and stored, many companies fail to take proper steps to secure the data and the means of accessing it. They also fail to educate employees on basic security strategies to mitigate security breaches, like clicking on random links in emails, or, giving sensitive account data over the phone to unknown entities (social hacking).
So, the moral of the story (and the demonstration) is, if your sex toys start buzzing through no fault of your own, turn them off, then implement a plan to protect all of your personal data.