ESET warns that sex toys are unsafe

ESET analysts Denise Giusto Bilić and Cecilia Pastorino have studied and tested several sex toys and concluded that they are unsafe.

The researchers’ main concern stems from the fact that wearable devices and “smart” sex toys are equipped with numerous features, including Internet access and Bluetooth support, access to online conferences and instant messengers.

All this opens up great opportunities for attackers who want to attack such devices.

sex toys are unsafe
Experts write that most “smart” devices have two main communication channels. So, communication between the smartphone user and the device itself is via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) when the user launches the sex toy application. The connection between the remote sexual partner and the application that controls the device is established via the Internet.

To implement these functions, smart sex toys, like any other IoT device, use API endpoints that process requests.

In some cases, this cloud service also acts as an intermediary between partners using features such as chat, video conferencing and file transfer, or even giving remote device control to a partner.the report says.

At the same time, the information processed by sex toys consists of extremely confidential data, including the names of people, their sexual orientation, gender, a list of sexual partners, personal photos, videos, and so on. In short, this is a real treasure trove of data for malefactors, for example, engaged in “sexual extortion” (sextortion).

Worse, such IoT devices can be compromised and used for malicious activities, including physically harming the user. This can happen, for example, when a sex toy overheats.

And finally, what happens if someone takes control of a sex toy without the user’s consent while it is being used and sends different commands to that device? Is an attack on a sex device considered sexual assault, and could such an attack lead to accusations of sexual assault?the researchers asked.

To demonstrate the dangers of these security flaws, the researchers conducted their own tests on the Max sex toys from Lovense and We-Vibe Jive. It quickly became clear that both gadgets use the least secure Bluetooth connection method that is called Just Works.

Using the BtleJuice framework and two BLE dongles, the experts were able to demonstrate how an attacker can carry out a Man-in-the-Middle attack, take control of a device, and intercept packets. The hacker can then retransmit the modified packets by first changing the settings, including, for example, vibration mode and intensity, or even implementing their own commands.

Worse, it turns out that the API endpoints used to connect the remote peer to the user use a token that can be brute-forced.

The list of options for the Lovense remote control application includes the ability to create URLs in the format, which uses a combination of four alphanumeric characters.the report says.

This allows users to remotely control their devices by simply entering such URLs into the browser.

Surprisingly, the server does not have any protection against brute-force, although such short tokens are used here with a relatively small number of possible combinations (1,679,616 possible tokens for an application with over a million downloads).said clinic representatives

The devices also lack the end-to-end encryption and certificate binding used when receiving firmware updates.

This is an extremely serious vulnerability because it allows an attacker to remotely hijack devices (without the user’s consent or knowledge) that are waiting for a connection using active tokens.the experts explain.

Let me remind you that I talked about the fact that Sextortion ransomware writes letters in foreign languages to bypass filters.

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About the author

Emma Davis

I'm writer and content manager (a short time ago completed a bachelor degree in Marketing from the Gustavus Adolphus College). For now, I have a deep drive to study cyber security.

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