This week, some cyber security experts said that Mattel's new 'Hello Barbie' doll, which connects to the internet and uses artificial intelligence, can be easily hacked into due to certain software flaws.
It has always seemed that talking toys are a traditional hit every holiday season and new ones tend to fly from the shelves. This year is no different as Mattel’s new Hello Barbie doll has been making a serious splash not only as a popular gift but for the cutting edge technology the toy is employing.
Cyber security experts, however, sent out warnings this week that the doll, which connects to the internet, can be easily hacked into, according to The Washington Post. The doll, when connected to the internet, will listen to a child’s voice and then will be able to respond via artificial intelligence capabilities.
Apparently, according to the cyber security firm Bluebox Security, there is a situation with the mobile app in the doll as well as with the cloud based storage system that is used that could easily enable hackers to hack in and listen to any conversations that may be happening at the time anyone connects to talk with the doll. The immediate intimacy of a child’s conversations, or even background conversations, can be easily listened to.
The Mattel company released a public statement saying, “We are aware of the Bluebox Security report and are working closely with ToyTalk to ensure the safety and security of Hello Barbie.”
Officials at the ToyTalk company, which has worked with Matell to develop the groundbreaking Barbie doll, said that they have been working closely with Bluebox Security since November to fix and redesign any flaws that they have discovered in the talking doll. The company has revealed that they have already fixed many of the major design flaws that Bluebox Security had uncovered.
This new discovery is following closely on a report of a major cyber security breach at Hong Kong based toymaker, V-Tech. It was recently reported that the hacking of V-Tech’s databases ended up revealing the profiles of over 6 million children. Bluebox officials are warning parents and others to remember to be extremely careful with regard to what is being revealed. Once the data has left a device, they say, there is no way to retrieve it or determine what will happen to it.