We’ve all seen a magician pull a rabbit out of a hat. But have you ever seen a spokesperson for a major security firm pull a neon pink vibrator out of a bag? Well that’s exactly what Udo Schneider did at a news conference in Germany last week. After whipping it out, the representative from Trend Micro placed the phallic pleasure maker on the desk in front of him. As giggles slipped out from unsuspecting journalists, Udo went to his computer, typed a few commands, and the vibrator came to life. The laughter continued, but Udo was demonstrating something quite serious; the ability to hack technologies connected to the Internet, including many modern sex toys, has become a legitimate threat.
As technology continues to improve, sex toys are becoming more advanced. Now, several sex toy manufacturers have launched products that can connect to smartphones and computers via WiFi and Bluetooth, allowing users to control them and download software updates. Some modern sex toys even include webcams, which opens up the possibility of hackers secretly spying on the user.
“If I hack a vibrator it’s just fun,” said Raimund Genes, chief technology officer at Trend Micro. “But if I can get to the back-end, I can blackmail the manufacturer.” Too many companies treat security as an afterthought when it comes to Internet-enabled devices.
For both consumers and employees, there is an overwhelming lack of awareness. Cyber attacks pose a real threat to all types of Internet technologies, and cyber security needs to be taken seriously, even when it comes to bright pink dildos. But the real question on all of our minds’ remains: Where did Udo Schneider get that pink vibrator?