Sexbots Can Straight Up Kill You

Sex robots could be weaponized and sent on a mission to kill people.

Well, dammit.

That’s the assessment of Nicholas Patterson, a cybersecurity lecturer at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. He told the Daily Star that it’s entirely possible for an enterprising hacker with a warped sense of morality (or a healthy appreciation for Pris, from Blade Runner) to hijack the human-sized “pleasure aids” and use them to attack.

As he told the Star (which published the story with the wildly entertaining yet misleading headline of “Sex robot ARMIES: Fears hackers could create killer cyborgs and turn technology on punters”): “Hackers can hack into a robot or a robotic device, and have full control of the connections, arms, legs and other attached tools, like in some cases knives or welding devices.”

That’s a bit terrifying, truth be told – because if this can happen to sexbots, it can happen to anybot.

He went on to warm to his theme: “Often these robots can be upwards of 200 pounds and very strong. Once a robot is hacked, the hacker has full control and can issue instructions to the robot. The last thing you want is for a hacker to have control over one of these robots. Once hacked they could absolutely be used to perform physical actions for an advantageous scenario or to cause damage.”

To repeat for emphasis: The last thing you want is for a hacker to have control over one of these robots.

As we reported, hackers were able to take control of and send commands to the vibrating Hush butt plug last year, so the sex toy-hacking nexus is clearly on the radar screen for the bad guys.

The fix here is obvious and is the same as any other defense against IoT hijacking: How about just not connecting anything to the internet that doesn’t need to be connected, hmmmm? Or if you MUST take your potentially murderous Roxette-bot or Trixie-bot or Chad-bot online (should I even consider why that would be necessary? Is there something overly naive in me that I’m even asking why?), it’s a very straightforward, un-kinky best practice: Make sure to change the default password. 

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?