Collapsing "connected toy" company did nothing while hackers stole millions of voice recordings of kids and parents


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/02/28/internet-of-shitty-toys.html


#2

and as the company imploded, they ignored both security researchers and blackmailers who repeatedly contacted them to let them know that all this data was being stolen.

Don’t worry, someone walked away with all the money.


#3

#4

You know, I’ll bet those blocks Einstein played with as a child don’t have security vulnerabilities. Maybe that’s why they are selling for so much money.


#5

courts have interpreted DMCA 1201 as a ban on reporting security vulnerabilities (because telling someone about a defect in DRM helps them figure out how to defeat it)

How does this work? Telling someone there are security vulnerabilities helps them defeat the vulnerabilities? So all the bad actors out there just assume everything is impregnable until someone tells them otherwise? If I tell you someone could break into my friend’s house, does that make it easier for you to break in?


#6

See, the market worked everything out on its own!

The company had no incentive to “waste” its money on silly things like security, since that’s the consumer’s problem and wouldn’t have made the company any additional money. They didn’t cave-in to demands from third parties trying to extort them for profit (or to enforce some do-gooder’s morality). And now the market has decreed that they serve no useful purpose and is now dying.

All those children possibly being targeted by bad actors aren’t really a problem… they’re an opportunity!

NOTE: To be clear, this post is sarcastic. How sad is it that those previous lines are actually considered reasonable by some?


#7

Hey I have a great idea - why don’t we put a powerful microprocessor in every damn thing?


#8

Shodan? As in the malevolent AI from System Shock? How appropriate.


#9

nothing quite says circling the drain like naming your company “spiral”


#10

I have a Libertarian friend who stated quite sincerely that if somebody were to die from eating a company’s food then people would stop eating food from that company and the market has corrected the problem.

I asked why we couldn’t prevent that person from dying in the first place.

blank stare


#11

How else can I tell my refrigerator to ask the Coffee Pot to open the Garage Door?


#12

Trump’s FDA may go to that model.

My solution is to not use any prescription drugs unless it’s been on the market since before 2017.

Food is a different story and I have no idea what to do.


#13

I keep thinking that there’s got to be a market for well-engineered “dumb” appliances made with modern materials, designed with expected lifespans in the decades.


#14


#15

Let’s see. I carefully drill into one of the serifs on the letter “A” (hmm, sort of misshapen where Baby Al gummed on it), carefully insert the recording device, then patch/paint it over… and voila! Let the bidding begin!


#16

I had that discussion with my Doctor.

Basically, if a drug isn’t available as a generic, don’t offer it up.

It isn’t just a financial concern, but I assume that any thing that is a generic has been vetted by the public at large. I am not beta testing pharmaceuticals on my dime.


#17

Yes, but items in that category tend to be in the “if you have to ask you can’t afford it”


#18

This situation would be hard-pressed to be worse(only obvious detail I can think of is adding cameras); if it had been specifically written as Pedobear’s origin story.

Good work guys, good work.


#19

I see. So we’re in the Sam Vimes’ “Boots” Theory of Economy Unfairness, then?

“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”


#20

I think they’re right on that! :stuck_out_tongue: