Sex toys and other things you didn't know could be hacked

Sex toys and other things you didn't know could be hacked
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The media is flooded with news of hackers breaching government and corporate computer networks. 

But emerging awareness of the so-called Internet of Things points to a new realm of technological vulnerability in daily life. 

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Aside from your computer, your mobile phone and your wireless router, almost any technology in your home or office that is connected to the Internet or another network has the potential to be hacked. 

This reality is giving pause to some who believe that manufacturers must do more to protect users from intrusion when they enable non-computing devices to go online. 

Here are five pieces of technology that are vulnerable to hackers. 

Cars

The “connected car” is the new norm in dealerships and on the road. 

But some fear that cutting-edge features like wireless tire pressure monitoring, remote keyless entry and a cellular connection could put drivers and passengers at risk. 

While it has been demonstrated by experts, the process of hacking a car is extremely difficult. 

Nonetheless, the possibility is under increasing scrutiny by security researchers and concerned lawmakers. 

Sens. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyMoulton drops out of presidential race after struggling to gain traction Joseph Kennedy mulling primary challenge to Markey in Massachusetts Overnight Energy: Trump sparks new fight over endangered species protections | States sue over repeal of Obama power plant rules | Interior changes rules for ethics watchdogs MORE (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) recently introduced legislation that would require regulators to set rules protecting drivers' security.

Copy machines

Data thieves are finding a new way into corporate networks — through the copy machine. 

High-tech printers and copiers typically save a certain amount of information about documents that they process, and it can be accessed remotely with the right savvy and tools. 

If connected to a wireless network, hackers can also use a copier to gain access to other files. 

Security consultants told The Hill that they have discovered hacks in progress in which cyber criminals use connected copiers to export sensitive data.

“When your copier is talking to Eastern Europe in the middle of the night, you know there's trouble,” said one consultant. 

Medical devices

Many Americans learned about the dangers of pacemaker hacking from a storyline on the TV series “Homeland.” 

But far from a dubious plot twist, the possibility of killing someone by tampering with an implanted medical device is very real, according to experts. 

In addition to jolting someone with electricity through their pacemaker, hackers could deliver a fatal drug overdose by controlling an insulin pump. 

Both devices emit wireless signals that could make them vulnerable to people within a range of about 15 feet. 

The threat is significant enough that both the Department of Homeland Security and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have issued warnings. 

“Patients need to be informed about whether the medical devices implanted in their bodies contain security vulnerabilities that could harm them,” then-Rep. Markey said in 2012. 

Toys

Kids today could become aware of hacking threats sooner than you might expect. 

As Internet-capable toys and games become the norm, hackers can find new ways to gather information and cause problems. 

Take talking dolls. The new “Hello Barbie,” unveiled last month, is designed to record conversations with kids and give responses based on previous exchanges. 

This capability is raising concerns among some privacy advocates who fear the doll's repository of information could be hacked through its wifi connection. 

Older toy enthusiasts might want to worry, too — a spate of articles earlier this year raised concerns about hackers taking remote control of sex toys. 

TVs

Like many other devices, new televisions can be vulnerable because they contain a small computer with access to the Internet. 

Security bloggers have raised concerns that this could be used to tamper with TV settings, monitor users through a connected webcam, gain access to customer data or even reroute TV service. 

Part of the vulnerability is that TVs are typically only programmed to respond to one user. If a hacker can disguise himself as the TV's owner, he can gain access to the whole system.