Hackers pose risk for your safety with tech toys

Hackers pose risk for your safety with tech toys

We've heard of the internet of things, but what about the internet of toys? Some of the hottest gifts on wish lists this year are connected to the web.

Payton Bird and Chris Nochez think a robot car kit would be a pretty cool gift.

It comes with a wireless camera, hooks up to the home Wi-Fi and is controlled by an app on a tablet or phone.

As much fun as it might be, this toy and others like it are vulnerable to hackers.

“They put this toy away. I was able to then turn it back and point the camera directly at them and zoom in and see exactly what they were doing," said Travis Smith.

And it was easy.

"This took me two hours to figure out how to break into this specific toy," said Travis.

He may be wearing black, but Travis is a white hat hacker working for tripwire, a technology security company.

"Any device that you put on your network is increasing what we call your attack surface,” Travis said.

Payton's mom thought she was security conscious at home.

"I never thought of anything with cameras or people being able to peer in,” Tracy Bird said.

Since this toy is designed for kids to learn about software coding, the company making it told us:

People can learn things, and the security issue is not so considered.

Many companies do what they can to keep their systems secure, but Travis said there are steps you should take.

"Number one - change the password. Number two - apply updates when available. Number three - power it off if you don't need it,” Travis explained.

Because it is not just your kids at risk.

“While your child is playing with this toy or it is sitting on the counter, and you are logging into the bank account from your phone, I could potentially use this robot to spy on all of your banking information,” Travis said.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off