Sex toys: very smart and unsafe

Sex toys: very smart and unsafe

Sex toys

Internet of Things (IoT) devices are often criticized for their security concerns that pose a risk to user data. Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the solutions adopted to reduce the contagion (lockdown and social distancing), the market for so-called smart sex toys has seen an exponential growth. However, ESET has highlighted several vulnerabilities that can be exploited to perform man-in-the-middle attacks.

Sex toys: very smart and unsafe

Smart sex toys can be controlled via app installed on the smartphone, using the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connection. The authentication process takes place via connection to the cloud, on which the account information is stored. The cloud service also acts as an intermediary between partners using remote device control and other features, including chat, video conferencing and file transfer.

The architecture has several points weak, as it is possible to intercept both local communications between device and smartphone and between smartphone and server. This represents a serious security and privacy issue, considering the sensitive information handled by sex toys: names, sexual orientation, partner list, photos, videos and others. In the wrong hands this data can be used for new forms of sextortion.

By exploiting any vulnerabilities in apps, it is also possible to take control of devices, perform DoS attacks, distribute malware and cause physical damage to the user (for example from overheating). ESET analyzed the apps of two well-known sex toys, discovering that the Bluetooth pairing with the smartphone is carried out with the Just Works method. This method is the least secure because it allows for man-in-the-middle attacks. An attacker can intercept the sent packets and take control of the device.

ESET has reported the problems to their respective manufacturers who have then resolved the vulnerabilities in the updated versions of the apps.

Source: ESET

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