The world is on the verge of a sex bot craze and while onanists and retailers are literally frothing in anticipation, security experts are warning about the risks.
Dr Nick Patterson, Senior Lecturer in Information Technology at Deakin University in Melbourne, has come to pour some cold water on the bonfire of bot desire. He warns that just as phones and computers, these sex dolls can also be hacked, and even worse, Patterson claims they are an easier target than traditional devices.
“Hackers can hack into a robot or a robotic device and have full control of the connections, arms, legs and other attached tools like in some cases knives or welding devices,” he told The Daily Star.
“Once a robot is hacked, the hacker has full control and can issue instructions to the robot.
“The last thing you want is for a hacker to have control over one of these robots! Once hacked they could absolutely be used to perform physical actions for an advantageous scenario or to cause damage.”
Hackers have already managed to compromise “smart” sex toys in recent past. In 2017, Italian security researcher Giovanni Mellini was able to remotely control a Hush butt plug from his laptop. No, don’t laugh.
Manufactured by Lovense, the Hush device is described as “the world’s first teledildonic butt plug” with the ability to be “controlled from anywhere”.
First thought out as a joke, Mellini decided to carry on with his project not only for the fun of it but also to test the security of the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocol.
“This caught my attention after researchers told us that a lot of sex toys use this protocol to allow remote control that is insecure by design,” wrote the security expert on his blog.
“Everything started as a joke between me and Simone before going to HackInBo (the best free security event in Italy) when Simone said to me ‘if you buy it we can test it in Bologna’.
“At the end is very easy to hack BLE protocol due to poor design choices. Welcome to 2017.”