Imagine if a stranger walking down the street was able to see the sex toy you’re using in the privacy of your bedroom…. and also take over the controls! Think it sounds like science fiction? Think again!
Leading Security researchers have discovered a stunning vulnerability in certain high-tech sex toys hat allows hackers to spy into your bedroom, and also take control of those devices. Certain high-tech sex toys are linked to smartphones and can be controlled remotely, which allow couples that are separated by distance to still sexually engage.
And here’s the embarrassing news for couples who enjoy these high-tech toys: a security expert recently discovered that the technology that uses Bluetooth connectivity in these toys can lead to huge security and privacy breaches.
And it was discovered purely by accident!
A researcher from a leading security group was shocked when an adult sex game popped up on his cellphone while strolling down a street in Berlin, and using a Bluetooth application.
While using an application that can detect Bluetooth, he found the sex game can appear not only on his phone, but on anybody’s phone when connected to Wi Fi. Not only does it violate privacy, but it’s possible for any third party to activate the sex toy from a distance. For example, a stranger could remotely take over the controls of a vibrator, turn it up to maximum speed, and the owner of the sex toy wouldn’t be able to stop it or slow down the vibrations.
That’s because BLE devices use point-to-point (P2P) topology for one-to-one device communications. All that’s required is for the hacker remains connected over BLE and not the victim of the hack, and then there’s no possible way for the victim to take back control of the toy.
Hackers use a technique called “screwdriving,” which is their term for locating Wi-Fi networks while driving. By using this method, hackers can locate a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)-enabled adult sex toy from a distance.
According to the security expert, BLE-connected sex toys are vulnerable to hacking by outsiders as they use the same identifier across all devices.
Bluetooth Smart is a wireless network technology that was designed to consume much less power than regular Bluetooth, so phones and other devices are able to run much longer. The BLE technology has typically been used in health monitors, fitness trackers, and various computer accessories. But BLE has been shown to have serious lapses in its security measures.
One of the adult sex toys that was breached is a BLE-connected butt plug that connects to users’ smartphones, which is used to control the intensity and speed of the vibrations and other features. It was engineered to be enjoyed by long-distance couples through a mobile application and specifically with BLE.
The big problem is the BLE signals between BLE-enabled sex toys and phones are not encrypted. The security expert was able to intercept the transmissions between the phone and the butt plug using only an antenna and Bluetooth. Only a few commands are needed to connect to these sex toys from the street and take complete control of them.
So, what’s the solution?
Security experts recommend a major change in design. For example, sex toys need to include a button that would have to be activated by the owner before they’re able to be paired with another device. Another idea is to rename sex toys so hackers wouldn’t be able to distinguish them from more mundane and uninteresting Bluetooth devices.
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