HANOVER, Germany (Reuters) – It’s not just computers and mobile phones that are vulnerable to cyber attack, according to software firm Trend Micro. As more devices are hooked up to the Internet, it could be anything from medical equipment to industrial machinery – and even sex toys.
To illustrate the point, Trend Micro spokesman Udo Schneider surprised journalists at a news conference this week by placing a large, neon-pink vibrator on the desk in front of him and then bringing it to life by typing out a few lines of code on his laptop.
While the stunt provoked sheepish giggles, the message was sobering. As the number of smart, interactive devices connected to the Internet explodes, concern is mounting about insufficient safeguards and a lack of consumer and employee awareness.
“If I hack a vibrator it’s just fun,” Raimund Genes, Chief Technology Officer at Tokyo-listed Trend Micro, told reporters at the CeBIT technology fair in Hanover.
“But if I can get to the back-end, I can blackmail the manufacturer,” he added, referring to the programming system behind a device’s interface.
Read the rest of the story at Reuters.