Fisher-Price captured the imagination of toddlers and adults alike by updating its popular Chatter telephone toy by including actual Bluetooth connectivity for the 60th anniversary. Not only will kids love it, adults can use the toy as a way to take calls. However, that Bluetooth connectivity has opened the doors to threat actors.
Mattel may have though it was releasing a charming innocent toy, but attackers are taking advantage of the way the Bluetooth feature works to potentially sport on conversations.
Pen Test Partners tested the toy and earlier this month found the Bluetooth component does not feature a secure pairing process. In other words, someone could tap into the audio if they are close to the Chatter phone.
“When powered on, it just connects to any Bluetooth device in range that requests to pair,” allowing for “audio bugging of both children and adults” the researchers claim.
So, a neighbor or someone close by could connect their device to the Chatter phone and then listen to conversations. The researchers even go as far as to say predators could use the loophole to make contact with children who also use the toy.
It is worth noting Fisher-Price sold the Bluetooth element to adults, but let’s be clear, who is going to really be using this toy as their call speaker for a long time? It is a gimmick and kids will eventually have the toy all to themselves. However, one could argue that young kids would not use the feature. Not to mention an attacker would need to have close proximity to the toy.
Also, the Bluetooth only works as a speakerphone when someone actively lifts the handset, so really it is a gimmick. So, is this a minor issue? Maybe, but obviously having an open connection gateway in the home is hardly ideal.
“How have Fisher-Price not learned from similar security issues exposed in children’s toys several years ago?” researchers wrote. “An improved pairing process might involve an additional button press to force the device into a mode that allows pairing.”
Fisher-Price has yet to comment on the discovery.
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