CSIR warns of hacking threats to high-tech toys


The centre also says that devices that connect to the internet and that contain microphones and cameras can even be used by hackers to record voices or take images, without the users’ knowledge.


Drone. Picture: Facebook.com

CAPE TOWN – A children’s toy is not just a simple play thing anymore, with cyber-hackers finding new ways to invade users’ privacy every day.

The Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) says that parents need to be aware that hackers can collect personal information through high-tech toys.

The centre also says that devices that connect to the internet and that contain microphones and cameras can even be used by hackers to record voices or take images, without the users’ knowledge.

CSIR senior technology researcher Aubrey Labuschagne says: “How would your behaviour change if you know that your device is hacked? So would you send that picture, would you have that conversation if you know your device is hacked?

“Maybe that would change a little bit in terms of how you use these types of devices.”

Labuschagne says there are a number of ways to safeguard against cyber-hacking, especially for parents whose children use smart devices or toys.

“Downloading applications from untrusted sources, if you don’t know where you downloaded it from, can be harmful. The most important thing is to understand these threats and find a way to mitigate them.”

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