Uh oh: Barbie can be hacked

Uh oh: Barbie can be hacked

That Barbie doll you're thinking of gifting as a Christmas present could be targeted by hackers.

Researchers have found security flaws in a new Barbie doll that could leave it vulnerable to hacking.

The software maker for Hello Barbie is scrambling as the holiday shopping season ramps up after Bluebox, a security firm, found more vulnerabilities in the toy, according to a CNET report.

Mattel is trying to appeal to kids in the digital age with a doll that is more up to date, and has released the “Hello Barbie” Internet connected doll for a retail price of $75.

But there’s a been a consistent problem with this toy and many other Internet connected products produced by toymakers that don’t have the security track record that a bank of an electronics giant would have: they’re highly vulnerable.

Why is this a problem? It comes down to privacy. A hacker could get past security protections and would be able to access recordings made by kids during conversations with the Barbie doll. It’s not quite the same thing as identity theft, but certainly worrying to parents nonetheless.

And it gets worse. A researcher found a flaw that could potentially allow hackers to figure out the home address of someone who has a doll. Again, how valuable that information that is to anyone is up for debate, but it must be disconcerting to any parent seeking to protect their children.

Security problems have continued to pop up as the holiday season ramps up in a number of digital toys. VTech was the latest to run afoul of security concerns after hackers swiped the account information of more than 6.4 million children.

It may be enough to put parents off buying such toys for their kids, and perhaps settle for one of the old-fashioned dolls — at least those can’t be hacked.



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