They are part, like many other devices connected to the network, of the increasingly popular ‘internet of things’, but the Sex toys are in the crosshairs of cybercriminals and they can be especially vulnerable because of the intimate and sensitive information they can store.
Manufacturers tend to prioritize its functionality, appearance and cost, but neglect in many cases, according to some experts, the computer security of the device. Many of them are manufactured in countries that do not meet the same security and privacy standards that prevail in Europe and can store data as sensitive as habits, places, times, images and even conversations.
The main risk of the ‘internet of things’ is vulnerability of your security and that the devices are exposed to unauthorized access, has observed computer engineer Ángela García Valdés, a specialist in security technologies and a technician at the National Cybersecurity Institute (INCIBE) -under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation-.
Device security must be strengthened
In statements to Efe, García Valdés has specified that all connected devices store large amounts of personal information and it has emphasized the importance of knowing the advantages and risks to know how to prevent and mitigate them, reinforcing security and configuring the devices correctly.
Being connected to the internet, García Valdés has insisted on the importance of correctly configuring the connection and if it is possible even to create a separate network for these types of devices, connect them to the network only when they are being used, use passwords “secure and independent “, disable protocols that allow multiple devices to find each other, and periodically delete logs and history.
It has also warned that the information obtained in this type of attack can be put up for sale in the “black market” or be reused to launch other types of social engineering attacks against users.
“Sextortion”, a danger
“The more specific information they have about us, the more credible these attacks will seem and, therefore, the success rate will be higher,” said the INCIBE expert, citing the campaigns of “sextortion“-blackmailing a person with a sexual image or video-.
The company specialized in cybersecurity S2 Grupo has observed that “sexnology” (sex + technology) has experienced a notable increase. Have you observed that it has multiplied cyber risks and has positioned sex toys as a new target for online criminals.
These devices handle and store very sensitive and very intimate information that can have a very high impact on the personal lives of users, this company has alerted, which has recalled as an example cases such as that of a criminal who requested “a ransom” to a person after hacking and locking the device they were using -in this case, a chastity belt-.
His recommendations: unique and strong passwords for those devices, no use never networks wifi public, contrast the seriousness of the manufacturer and its commitment to security and data protection, and above all “common sense” and not share anything that could be sensitive or harm if publicly exposed.
Sources from the cybersecurity company Kaspersky have observed that some vibrators are connected by “bluetooth“to mobile phones or tablets and allow local or remote use –since other mobile– and the functions of the application include, in some cases, even a complete social network with group chat and even albums.
And they recalled that a researcher did an experiment with one of these devices and found a file in its configuration folder and managed to connect to a database and access the private data of all its users, including names, passwords, chats or images.