FBI: Be wary of smart toys

FBI: Be wary of smart toys
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The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center released a public service announcement Monday urging parents to "consider cyber security prior to introducing smart, interactive, internet-connected toys into their homes."

"These toys typically contain sensors, microphones, cameras, data storage components, and other multimedia capabilities — including speech recognition and GPS options. These features could put the privacy and safety of children at risk due to the large amount of personal information that may be unwittingly disclosed," wrote the center.

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Within the past few years, interactive toys ranging from dolls to stuffed animals have been found to have security vulnerabilities hackers could use to surveil or interact with children. That could include accessing camera or voice recordings or an attacker talking to children through the toy.

Additionally, security vulnerabilities in the mechanisms for storing user data in the cloud or on remote servers could pose a privacy risk if those databases are compromised. 

The FBI announcement implores parents to research cybersecurity aspects of the toys, to carefully inspect privacy terms of services and to only use secure Wi-Fi to connect the toys to the internet.