Hackers and the Sex Robots

Whoo. Its been a while. Sorry folks. Here is a post that didn’t make it past the editors at my company. So I thought I would just post it here. I guess it was a little too salacious…

I am not sure what is worse… sex robots? Or the fact that hackers took the time to attack them. Ok…so this one has popped up (get it?) on my radar a couple of times now and not because I spend a lot of time researching sex robots. Apparently, these things are the next generation blow up doll for the lonely and given mankind’s fascination with all things robotic and sex why not connect the two?

My guess is that you can program these things to be even more lifelike and responsive somehow through a computer interface. And therein lies the rub (oops I did it again.) Basically, these things now have an IP address and if it has one of those it can be seen and exploited by a hacker.

On one hand my fear is that as we careen towards artificial intelligence, these things will get smarter and smarter in and of themselves. God forbid if the Weyland-Yutani or Tyrell corporations were to make breakthroughs in the development of android/replicant technology. Granted we are just talking about your basic pleasure model here but then Pris was not exactly a push over…what was I talking about? Oh yeah. To sum up…maybe someday these things will be smart enough to kill you assuming you even know it’s there before it rips your spine out.

On the other hand, even if killer sex robots are the realm of science fiction at the moment, the fact that network connected ones are vulnerable to hackers should raise a few eye brows. I am fairly certain that the designers of these things aren’t exactly thinking of security when they build these things. I would also assume (and I have no direct knowledge here) that certain things are…adjustable…using a computer interface. It is the adjustable nature of the device that I would be concerned about. The hacker can take control of the sex robot while you are getting busy with it and cause a fair degree of “bodily” harm I would imagine.

Now this is probably a pretty limited use case for most hackers. They are probably busy raising a ruckus in other areas with greater impact like car washes and factory controls but every once in a while, when their bots are off doing their thing and they are waiting for them to return they are going to get bored and will seek out amusements elsewhere.

For those of us who don’t own a sex robot this is not a great concern. We are more worried about the hacking our self-driving car or our toasters turning on us. For the lonely soul just looking for love in all the wrong places it’s just another example of the world turning against them…

For the developers and designers of such devices or pretty much anything that is connected to our world the lesson should be to start thinking of security during the design and development phase. Security as an afterthought almost never works.

I hear the complaints all the time from the folks who work directly with networked industrial technologies. “Oh, you can’t scan/touch/look at that device. It will crash/tip/burn…”  Why is that? If a device will stop working when you try and do a vulnerability scan so you don’t scan it, isn’t that a vulnerability? That’ like building a car without brakes. It works great as long as you don’t have to stop. There is a reason we call them foundational controls folks.

 

Oh by the way…Hackers and the Sex Robots would be a great name for a band.

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