A year ago, the Norwegian Consumer Council commissioned a study into kids' smart watches, finding that they were incredibly negligent when it came to security and incredible greedy when it came to surveillance: a deadly combination that meant that these devices were sucking up tons of sensitive data on kids' lives and then leaving it lying around for anyone to take.
At the time, the manufacturers involved both denied any wrongdoing and simultaneously promised to improve anyway. A year later, no such improvements have arrived.
A new investigation by Pen Test Partners found that MiSafes's smart watches, aimed at kids 3-12 years old, could be used to track kids' locations, to covertly listen in on their conversations, and to fool kids by initiating calls that appeared to come from their parents.
The researchers found about 14,000 available MiSafe watches using internet search tools.
They found it was possible to:
trigger the remote listening facility of someone else's watch, with the only warning being that a brief "busy" message appeared before its screen returned to blank
track the wearer's current and past locations
* alter the safe zone facility so that alerts were triggered by a child's approach rather than their departure
Pen Test Partners also learned it was possible to bypass a feature supposed to limit the watch to accepting calls from only authorised parties.
The researchers did this by using a online "prank call" service that fools receiving devices into showing another person's caller ID number.
Consumer Advice: Kids GPS tracker watch security [Pen Test Partners]
MiSafes' child-tracking smartwatches are 'easy to hack' [Leo Kelion/BBC]
A good way to understand how something works is to watch how it fails. Forgotten Weapons: Over many years of filming with my high speed camera, I have a decent little library of malfunctions in a wide variety of guns. These don’t normally make it into videos, and I figured it would be neat to […]
Eccentric eyewear maker Scott Urban first kickstarted his "Reflectacles" frames in 2016; the frames used emedded retroreflectors to make them throw back tons of light, making them highly visible (and great for things like night cycling); subsequent iterations beefed up the IR reflectivity, which blinded many CCTV surveillance cameras (they use IR to paint low-light […]
The fourth incarnation of the wonderful Raspberry Pi is upon us. A faster quard-core CPU, up to 4GB of RAM, gigabit ethernet and dual HDMI outputs are the upgrades; there’s USB-C too, but just for power. The CPU boost is a big deal, say early users, but dual-4k displays and 4x the RAM bring it […]
When it comes to large computer systems, not one of them is fully secure. Even with constant updates to the platforms that keep vital networks humming, there’s always a back door. And companies are willing to pay handsomely to effective bouncers that can keep an eye on them. Call them ethical hackers or white hat […]
So you’ve visited the Kennedy Space Center every year. You’ve watched “The Right Stuff” for the 95th time. There must be something to do while you’re waiting to join Space Force for the next manned mission to Mars or the moon. Here’s a combo that should raise a salute from any fan of space or […]
Looking for a new tablet? If you haven’t upgraded in a while, it might be time to check out the latest iPad Pro for two very good reasons. First, the 2018 model is a real workhorse. The 12X Bionic chip processor means it can handle any task you set out for it, and still have […]