Easily Hackable Smart Sex Toys Pose Security Concerns

And yet, this is only the beginning of the smart sex toys era.
Fabienne Lang

When you connect what happens between your sheets to the internet of all things, you may get some nasty surprises. 

A team of ESET internet researchers looked into just how secure smart sex toys really are, and it turns out that they are not that much. 

With more and more of our home devices being controlled through the internet, it's perhaps normal to start researching how securely these devices' data are being transferred and processed — and sex toys are no exception. 

The ESET researchers found out that even though new smart sex toys keep going on the market, the practices of safeguarding their users' information aren't necessarily improving.

The issues lie in security flaws in the implementation of the apps running these toys, and how they process and store information. 

The dangers of smart sex toys being hacked

Vulnerabilities in such devices could allow intruders to create dangerous codes on the devices or to lock them, so the user can no longer use their toy(s). One prime example of this is when a hacker locked chastity belts on their owners, then asked for a ransom in order to unlock them. 

Smart sex toys showcase a number of features from remote control access through the internet, to chatroom discussions, to synchronization with musical playlists, and more. 

Most of the time, these toys are controlled via an app downloaded onto the user's smartphone and connects through Bluetooth. After an authentication process, the user pairs up its device and chooses the options — all of which are stored in the cloud, including the user's account details. 

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All of these different connection methods offer a variety of ways for hackers to toy — excuse the pun — with the users' devices, their safety, and their private information such as email addresses, sexual orientation, amount of device usage, names, lists of sexual partners (when the devices can link to a partner's app), and more. 

And in simpler terms, they can also stop a user from enjoying themselves by blocking their access to controls. 

As the research team points out, it's critical for consumers to be educated on what could happen when they buy a smart sex toy, as well as informing the sex toys' software developers about these risks, and ensuring they carry out their due diligence.

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