FBI warns parents 'smart' interactive toys put children at risk
The FBI have warned parents that internet-connected 'smart toys' are a significant security threat.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation in the US have warned parents that interactive or so-called 'smart toys' that connect to the internet are a cyber security risk.
The toys - many of which record and transmit children's voices and messages via a Bluetooth connection - have previously caused raised safety concerns, with Germany banning one brand of smart doll after it transpired the toy could be easily hacked.
In recent months, almost two million recordings made by children via their CloudPets interactive toys were hacked and leaked online.
FBI spokesman, Garret H. Croon, of the agency's Internet Crime Complaint Centre says that toys with Wi-fi capabilities, sensors, microphones, cameras and GPS location options could lead to child identity fraud and put kids at risk:
"If you accept that toy into your home, you accept the responsibilities that come with it. So beware."
Croon warns that security vulnerabilities in toys with Wi-fi capabilities mean that hackers can watch and even interact with children, collecting private information such as their name, school and activities:
"Your children may be speaking to the toys, or there could be background noise. Those audio recordings or video recordings are sent to a database somewhere in the sky, which could be hacked by someone, unwittingly releasing information that's personal to you."
A congressional inquiry is now taking place in the US, looking into how toy manufacturers are storing information collected by smart toys and whether that information is shared in any way.