The British Government as part of the Investigatory Powers Bill is planning to hack children’s smart toys to snoop on suspects.
We discussed several times the possibility to spy on people through smart device, including smart toys. A couple of weeks ago, the security expert Matt Jakubowski explained that the new Wi-Fi-Enabled Hello Barbie can be hacked to extract Wi-Fi network names, account IDs, and MP3 files from the toy.
News of the day is that as part of the Investigatory Powers Bill, children’s smart toys could be used by British law enforcement.
According to Antony Walker, deputy chief executive officer of techUK, IoT devices, included smart toys, can be intercepted by the UK government and used for their investigation.
“In the context of the Internet of Things you have many types of connected devices … [such as] toys [that] children can interact [with].” Mr. Walker said at the second session on the Investigatory Powers Bill, :
“These devices may sit in a child’s bedroom, but they may be accessible. In theory, the manufacturer of the products could be subject to a warrant to enable equipment interference with those devices.”
The expert highlighted the implication of smart objects for the users’ privacy and security.
“We are moving beyond a world that is just about telephony, accessing messaging services and so on,” he stated.
“In an IOT type world the definitions that seem to apply to equipment seem to apply potentially to a huge range of devices that could be used for communications purposes and other purposes as well.”
The draft Investigatory Powers Bill would make it the legal duty of Internet service providers (ISPs) to support the law enforcement in exploiting smart devices, including smart toys, to snoop on suspects.
“A range of devices that have been in the news recently, in relation to a hack, are children’s toys that children can interact with,” Walker told the committee. “These are devices that may sit in a child’s bedroom but are accessible.”
According to the Investigatory Powers Bill, the UK Government would propose to make possible to break end-to-end encryption implemented by private companies for their services.
Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer.
Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US.
Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines.
Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.