back to article 2017: The FBI alerts parents to dangers of Internet of Sh*t toys

The FBI issued a warning Monday advising parents to carefully check internet-connected toys for possible privacy and security concerns. In this startling alert, the Feds gave America's families the grim news: many toys sporting cloud-backed features such as speech recognition or online content hosting "could put the privacy …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ga goo gaa!

    All that juicy info about Timmys' Tonka truck collection! We must stop them using it for nefarious means!

    1. redpawn

      Re: Ga goo gaa!

      That'll work because parents never talk over their children since they are the center of attention and while you're at it feel free to sort through my trash as there could be nothing sensitive there.

    2. Ian Michael Gumby
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Ga goo gaa!

      You mean the toys that can be morphed in to monitoring tools of not just TImmy but the entire house hold?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Ga goo gaa!

        "the entire house hold"

        If the rest of the household is over 13 COPPA seems to consider them fair game.

  2. Mattknz1

    Lets get Social

    Considering most parents don't filter what they knowingly post about their kids on line, are they really going to give their fantastic new purchase a 2nd thought?

    I pity the poor bastards, who in 10-15 years have their entire life scrapbooked online.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Lets get Social

      A poll on one popular UK newspaper site (not mirror / sun / mail /express) shows 61% of parents are still sane, agreeing that stuff about your kids should not be on "social" media.

      1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

        Re: Lets get Social

        @ Mage - Meaning a full 39% or parents are not sane

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Self-Regulate basically... Thanks FBI!

    How are busy families supposed to follow this in practical terms? Privacy / Security policies are written by lawyers, designed by weasels, so not even IT pros get them. We need mega fines, jail time. GDPR needs to come sooner.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Self-Regulate basically... Thanks FBI!

      The same with electrical safety,poisonous materials, lead paint etc.

      It's obviously the parents job to analyse all the products they bring home to their children - who else is going to ensure people are safe?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Self-Regulate basically... Thanks FBI!

        "who else is going to ensure people the children are safe?"

        TLAs & FLAs.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Self-Regulate basically... Thanks FBI!

      The only solution is boycott all internet connected shit. No good can come of internet connectivity in toys.

      Self-regulation needs to fuck off on the neoliberalism it rode in on.

  4. DerekCurrie

    You'd Think 'Professionals' Would Foist IoT

    Nope! Almost universally, IoT = Sh*t.

    Irresponsible BizTards @Work.

    All too human.

    Luddites, this time you're entirely right and welcome to revolt against this revolting technological excrement. [place poop emoji here]

  5. ammabamma

    An important thing to remember with Internet of Things:

    The "S" in IoT stands for "Security".

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Good one

      I'll be reusing that :)

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Re: An important thing to remember with Internet of Things:

      siot might be pronounced Shit in Irish as s is ALWAYS Sh (just as c at a start = k)

  6. quxinot

    Thank you to the pfsense devs.

    Then again, thanks to the doc that did the vasectomy....

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "parents are advised to only operate connected toys on trusted Wi-Fi networks and to make sure the firmware and patches are installed for apps and connected devices"

    Two things wrong with the above statement.

    1. You are telling me a device is insecure and could leak information but then you are telling me to put it on my trusted network.

    2. Firmware and patches. What is this strange voodoo they speak of? There is more chance of the second coming of Jesus than getting an update for IoT tat.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "There is more chance of the second coming of Jesus than getting an update for IoT tat."

      True, but now there is official advise out there so that makes it easier to return for a refund (or sue) when it's blindingly obvious that the manufacturer didn't even take reasonable measure to test the security of the device. The majority may not even notice or care, but some will. That's also likely to make the news too, so more become aware. Especially if it leads to class actions and product recalls.

  8. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Now if only most parents actually knew what most of those words mean

    and can act on them.

    TL:DR. Internet connected toys are a real treasure trove for internet savvy kiddie fiddlers. Don't buy them.

    As a bonus once the little darling has outgrown the particular tastes of said paedo your top drawer paedo can trade those to their friends making such toys the gift that truly keeps on giving (away privacy).

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: Now if only most parents actually knew what most of those words mean


      Such bollocks, unfortunately read.

  9. Gordon Pryra

    Normally I say its the parents fault

    But in this case the average parent has no idea how or what to look for.

    Its the FBIs job to protect against this sort of thing, and unless one of Trumps businesses is selling them (or they come from Russia) then the FBI should be pretty safe in doing so

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing new here...

    Security as an afterthought.

    Now what other products do we know where this is the case?

  11. bombastic bob Silver badge

    reminds me of the Furby...

    apparently Furby could record things, so they were banned at certain installations. I've taken one apart [to fix it, needed a lube job and some TLC after it jammed up] and it didn't seem like it was able to record all that much, at least not to me.

    So maybe a lot of this is hype with no real substance?

    then again, if it's cloud-based speech recognition...

    1. Stoneshop

      Re: reminds me of the Furby...

      The Furby was, what, twenty years ago? So, a bit more modern than the Pleistocene era Meccano and stuff, but still Stone Age tech in terms of processing power and storage, never mind connectivity.

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