From Firefox to fired cocks: Look who's out to save you being shafted by insecure Internet of Dingalings – it's Mozilla!

Secret-keeping screw-ups bedevil amorous appliances


Hewing to its pubic public service mission, Mozilla has published a privacy and security evaluation of sex toys and other connected goods in preparation for Valentine's Day next week.

"Connected devices in the bedroom can amp up romance," explained Jen Caltrider, content strategy lead for Mozilla. "But they also have the possibility to expose the most intimate parts of our lives. Consumers have the right know if their latest device has privacy and security features that meet their standards."

Cheeky though it may be to probe the integrity of vibrators, the inquisition is necessary. As we observed earlier this week, about half of IoT apps fail to implement encryption properly.

What's more, security screwups for sex toy makers turn out to be rather common.

Last year, before the sacred shopping days, the maker of Firefox and other sundries published a guide of vetted gifts. Three months on, there's an intimate contact sport sequel, focused on vibrators, what are charitably called smart beds, and miscellaneous networkable gadgets like a sleep tracker, aroma diffuser, video doorbell and pelvic floor muscle exerciser.

vibrator

Your 'intimate personal massager' – cough – is spying on you

READ MORE

To get Mozilla's blessing, devices must include: "encrypted communications; automatic security updates; strong, unique passwords; vulnerability management; and an accessible privacy policy."

It also helps to trust the vendor – Facebook and Google implement all of the above, but it's hard to imagine anyone concerned about privacy and security would want amorous artifacts from either. But that's beyond the scope of Mozilla's inquiry.

Mozilla reviewed 18 devices, and only 9 made the grade, a ratio consistent with the above-mentioned IoT research paper. Exemplars include the Lioness Vibrator, with encryption and automatic updates, the kGOAL Kegel Exerciser, which avoids third-party data sharing, and a the Motiv Ring fitness tracker, which supports easy data deletion.

Among the gifts stiffed for privacy and security failings, count two smart vibrators, one said to be vulnerable to spoofing requests and one that lacks any kind of privacy policy, and a VR add-on for a male pleasure device with uncertain encryption and third-party analytics in its app.

Even if you're not in the market for any of these, it's nice to know Mozilla's got your back. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022