Fisher-Price Smart Teddy Bear Latest IoT Toy Under Hacker Scrutiny

The latest device with a security vulnerability is Fisher-Price's Smart Toy, as flaws in the connected Internet of things world continue to mount.

IoT security

When it comes to the emerging Internet of things world, security vulnerabilities can exist almost anywhere, including in a child's teddy bear. Security vendor Rapid7 today disclosed a vulnerability in the Fisher-Price Smart Toy, which could have enabled an attacker to gain access to user information. Rapid7 responsibly disclosed the flaw to Fisher-Price, and the toy vendor has already patched the issue.

"The Fisher-Price Smart Toy device is a teddy bear that has an integrated Android 4.4 operating system in it," Tod Beardsley, security research manager at Rapid7, told eWEEK.

There is no local security controls on the device, so if someone has physical access to the device, it is possible to get an Android Debug Bridge (ADB) shell to get complete system access, Beardsley said. The lack of local access security, however, is not what concerns Rapid7, since the assumption exists that if someone already has physical access to the device, they probably know the owner. Of greater interest are the remote access vulnerabilities that Rapid7 found that could have enabled someone without physical access to the toy to get personal information.

Fisher-Price did not properly secure the Web APIs it uses for the back end of the Smart Toy, potentially giving an attacker access to customer profile information, including name, birthday, gender, language and which toys have been registered. Going a step further, Beardsley said that an attacker could have deleted or modified a child's profile.

The core flaw, which is identified as CVE-2015-8269, is an improper authentication handling vulnerability. Beardsley explained that the Web back end for the Smart Toy would let anyone attempting to access the site assert that they were any customer ID.

Fisher-Price fixed the remote security issues disclosed by Rapid7 in a timely manner, according to Beardsley. Since the disclosed issues are all remote, there is no need for end users to patch the local device.

The Fisher-Price Smart Toy vulnerability follows other flaws found in IoT toys in recent months, including issues found in Hello Kitty, VTech and Hello Barbie. What's not immediately clear in the Fisher-Price incident is the number of users who were at risk, as Rapid7 acted in a professionally responsible and legal manner and did not attempt to download or access all user profiles.

The Fisher-Price Smart Toy vulnerability helps to further illuminate the issue of IoT device security. In Beardsley's view, the lack of full, proper security isn't a function of malice, but rather one of awareness, which is now starting to improve. In particular, he praised Fisher-Price for its quick response to the issue and for patching the flaw quickly.

"No one decides not to do security," Beardsley said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.