Study: Child smart watches can be hacked

 23 Oct 2017 - 11:42

Study: Child smart watches can be hacked

QNA

Oslo,  A number of smart watches for children have been found to pose considerable security risks, according to a Norwegian consumer watchdog.

The purpose of some of the smart watches the organization tested is to allow parents to communicate with their child through a mobile phone function and be able to track the childs location through an app. However, research from Forbrukerrqdet - a Norwegian consumer watchdog which is a member organization of EU consumer group BEUC - found that some watches can be controlled by strangers who can use them to track and eavesdrop on children.

For those devices that aren't secure, Forbrukerrqdet found that in a few simple steps, strangers can eavesdrop and communicate with a child and, more worryingly, can track a child or make it look like the child is somewhere else. This is possible because data in the tested watches is transmitted and stored without encryption.

Other key findings from the researchers was that an SOS button on the watches was unreliable and can be circumvented by hackers, illegal or non-existent terms and conditions and personal data protection flaws.

"Products which are connected to the internet are everywhere. Unfortunately, some producers seem to turn a blind eye to basic security and privacy standards in their rush to market such products. Market surveillance authorities should make sure that such products never reach the market in the first place," the consumer watchdog added.