Hot New Interactive Barbie Toy Will Spy On You And Your Children, Hooray!

Hot New Interactive Barbie Toy Will Spy On You And Your Children, Hooray!

is this thing on? can you hear me now?

Man, living in the future was supposed to include jet packs and flying cars, but instead all we got was terrorists who keep thinking of innovative ways to blow stuff up so we to take off our goddamn shoes at the airport. Oh, and we got a Barbie that can be hacked to spy on you and your precious babbies.

Wait what?

Yes, from the department of Literally Everyone On Earth Could Have Predicted This comes the news that this season’s hot new toy that your child will whine about until you just break down and buy it for them, Hello Barbie, can have the wifi hijacked. Merry Christmas!

The Hello Barbie doll is billed as the world’s first “interactive doll” capable of listening to a child and responding via voice, in a similar way to Apple’s Siri, Google’s Now and Microsoft’s Cortana. [...]

But US security researcher Matt Jakubowski discovered that when connected to Wi-Fi the doll was vulnerable to hacking, allowing him easy access to the doll’s system information, account information, stored audio files and direct access to the microphone.

Can we first take a moment and talk about how “Hacking Beloved Children’s Toys” is probably a much better job than anything you do, particularly if you toil in ye old blogging content mines?

OK, now that you’re thoroughly depressed, take several more minutes to marvel at anyone being surprised by this because OF COURSE SWEET JESUS BARBIE COULD BE HACKED. Everything can be hacked because nothing gold can stay. Your browser -- yes, yours, we do not care what type you are using -- is vulnerable, Siri will probably become sentient soon, Jeeps can be hacked to be killed on the highway mid-drive, which is a thing that should actually keep you up at night. Did you really think that creepy people on God's green Earth couldn't figure out a way to turn Barbie -- sweet, innocent Barbie -- into what is basically a nanny cam with tits?

OK, let's calm down. It probably isn't that bad. I mean, should you really care if strangers on the Internet can listen in on little Justin or Justine demanding that Barbie tell them right this minute how to get a pony for their birthday? OK, actually, yes, you probably should care about that, and some parents already banded together to grumble about how they were super-skeeved out by Hello NSA Spy Barbie recording all the words of their special snowflakes and storing them on the Internet somewhere, but you should save your real freakout for this:

It was the ease with which the doll was compromise that was most concerning. The information stored by the doll could allow hackers to take over a home Wi-Fi network and from there gain access to other internet connected devices, steal personal information and cause other problems for the owners, potentially without their knowledge.


You know what? This Christmas, just find the kids a couple rocks to bang together or a bundle of twigs or literally anything that cannot be connected to the Internet ever. It's the only safe course of action.

[Guardian / CBC News]


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