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German parents told to destroy Cayla dolls over hacking fears

The Federal Network Agency, an official watchdog that oversees telecommunication in Germany has urged parents to destroy and boycott a talking doll called ‘Cayla’ over hacking fear. The warning by Germany’s Federal Network Agency came after Stefan Hessel, a student from the University of Saarland, raised legal concerns about the doll ‘My Friend Cayla.’
Researchers say hackers can use an insecure Bluetooth device embedded in the toy to listen and say offensive things to the child playing with it.

According to a BBC report, Vivid Toy group, which distributes ‘My Friend Cayla’, had previously said that examples of hacking were isolated and carried out by specialists. However, it said the company would take the information on board as it was able to upgrade the app used with the doll.

But experts have revealed that the problem has not been fixed.

Mr. Hessel, an expert quoted by the German website Netzpolitik.org, said a Bluetooth-enabled device could connect to Cayla’s speaker and microphone system within a radius of 10m (33ft). He said an eavesdropper could even spy on someone playing with the doll ‘through several walls’.

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