back to article Your 'intimate personal massager' – cough – is spying on you

DEF CON has a lot of odd talks, but the successful hacking of a vibrator by two researchers from New Zealand drew a big crowd. The two-person team of g0ldfisk and follower got hold of the schematics for the We Vibe 4 Plus, a U-shaped vibrator that can be controlled via Bluetooth using a remote control or a smartphone app. The …

Anonymous Coward

Security research. Yeah, that's what it was

"turns out the human body is a surprisingly efficient faraday cage.”

I'm pretty certain it doesn't need to be correctly placed in an anatomical sense in order to conduct security research.

12
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Security research. Yeah, that's what it was

Is the temperature feedback about the device overheating, - or a thermostat to make it warm, - or the temperature of the body in contact with it at some point(s)?

1
0

Re: Security research. Yeah, that's what it was

Snark! The largest USian supplier of sexy lingerie sends most of its products to Bible Belt states!

Human drives exceed religious regulation.

7
0
Silver badge

Re: Security research. Yeah, that's what it was

It's not hard to get data to back this up: https://www.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&geo=US&q=porn

Top states searching for 'porn' are Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana and Kentucky. Not exactly known for their liberal social views.

0
1
Silver badge

Re: Security research. Yeah, that's what it was

>Human drives exceed religious regulation.

Genesis 1:27 - God makes people

Genesis 1:28 - God tells them to have sex

Judging by your comment, it obviously isn't Christianty which is stifling the fun.

Liberals- all talk, no action. ;)

3
11
Bronze badge

Re: Security research. Yeah, that's what it was

I thought he told them to "go forth and multiply"?

0
0

Re: Security research. Yeah, that's what it was

You need to thoroughly test in live conditions, though, don't you?

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Security research. Yeah, that's what it was

"Top states searching for 'porn' are Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana and Kentucky. Not exactly known for their liberal social views."

This kind of statistic gets thrown around a lot, but I don't think it says what most people think it says. If you know anything at all about porn, you are never going to simply search for "porn" on Google; you're most likely going to just go straight to your preferred site, or at the very least search for something a bit more specific according to your preferences. So in fact, having the most searches for "porn" is exactly what you'd expect if those states really did live up to their reputations - the residents look at so little porn that they don't even know how to find it other than just blindly searching the word itself.

5
1
Gimp

Re: Security research. Yeah, that's what it was

Just a thought, could folks in more socially liberal areas be using more precise search terms than 'porn' and thus confusing the research results?

I'd offer some examples, but you've thought of a few already yourself in the time it took to read this, if you're a typical Reg reader.

7
0
Silver badge

Re: Security research. Yeah, that's what it was

> Go forth and multiply

Maths freaks are no fun...

But seriously, cloud connected? Who didn't see that ship o' fail coming?

6
0
Silver badge

Re: Security research. Yeah, that's what it was

"Just a thought, could folks in more socially liberal areas be using more precise search terms than 'porn' and thus confusing the research results?"

This would hold more weight if the various other connected terms - including the names of certain sites - weren't also generally topped by the same set of states.

3
1
Silver badge

Re: Security research. Yeah, that's what it was

> Go forth and multiply

You said it.

: MULTIPLY ( a b -- c ) * ;

5
0
Silver badge

Question

Was this a backdoor exploit?

Gets coat, stops off at the greengrocers.

11
0
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Security research. Yeah, that's what it was

I thought he told them to "go forth and multiply"?

Shouldn't that be "Multiply and forth go"?

3
0
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Security research. Yeah, that's what it was

I'm pretty certain it doesn't need to be correctly placed in an anatomical sense in order to conduct security research.

As with any testing regime, there's probably bench testing as well as operational usage testing.

The latter may have some overlap with pen testing.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

"Using such devices is a criminal matter and there have been prosecutions."

What are the grounds for criminalizing the device? Presumably to do with its basic function rather than some Bluetooth restriction?

Makes "Land of the Free" yet again seem a misnomer.

20
0
Anonymous Coward

I know, right? You want to buy that assault rifle and a fuckton of ammo? Sure, no problem whatsoever. You want to buy this vibrator? Nope, that's against the law in these parts.

Unbelievable.

45
1
Silver badge

You choose to take an admittedly kooky law in two states out of fifty in the US, and say that represents the other 48?

Assuming you are British (for the sake of argument) what if I choose to trawl thru some of the odder local laws in Britain? If I find anything questionable, may I laugh my arse off at "You stupid Brits"?

Basically just cool it with the mindless regionalism, okay? There's plenty of real issues we can be hurling around, don't need to make any new ones up.

12
47
Anonymous Coward

"Nope, that's against the law in these parts."

"The law's most outspoken backers have been a coalition of Conservative Christians led by Dan Ireland of the Alabama Citizens' Action Program."

Seems almost a clone of Mary Whitehouse's "National Viewers' and Listeners' Association".

What is it with a vociferous minority of so-called Christians that they want the Government out of their lives - yet insist in poking their noses into other people's bedrooms? The irony is that so often it is those who promote such campaigns who are caught with their trousers down - like Cardinal Keith O'Brien or various USA preachers.

33
0
Anonymous Coward

Kool it, k? Amerikakaka is 99.9% khristian kooks.

0
9
Bronze badge

I can see it on Amazon now... "People who bought this automatic rifle also bought ammo, a cammo dingy, a duck caller and a remote controlled vibrator"

7
0
hmv

Go ahead. Dumb laws need laughing at wherever they are.

21
0

Have you had...

...a humourectomy by any chance?

>>>Assuming you are British (for the sake of argument) what if I choose to trawl thru some of the odder local laws in Britain? If I find anything questionable, may I laugh my arse off at "You stupid Brits"?<<<

Yes. Yes, of course you can.

Friendly piss-taking like that, is^W should be a basic human right.

20
0
Bronze badge

Re: Have you had...

If not a Human Right, then at least a part of the British entry exam.

7
0
Silver badge

@Big John

>Assuming you are British (for the sake of argument) what if I choose to trawl thru some of the odder local laws in Britain? If I find anything questionable, may I laugh my arse off at "You stupid Brits"?

No need to look far, "Brexit", there!

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/british-lose-right-to-claim-that-americans-are-dumber

4
1
Happy

@Big John - " may I laugh my arse off at "You stupid Brits"? "

Yes mate, just this once, for spelling arse properly! :)

Do remember that we (Brits) have about 2000 years worth of laws compared to your 200 odd years* so expect there to be more idiotic ones which have slipped through the gaps than you have got.

My favourite is the one about men having to practice with their long bow on the village green after church on Sunday. Not recommended in these "terrorist threat" days even if you could find your local village green.

(* apologies to the indigenous nations, you have history to)

3
2
Bronze badge

Re: @Big John - " may I laugh my arse off at "You stupid Brits"? "

(A) The law about archery practise is no longer on the statute books.

(B) It was a fairly sensible way of ensuring that your 'volunteer' army kept in shape in the rare gaps between wars.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: @Big John - " may I laugh my arse off at "You stupid Brits"? "

"[...] so expect there to be more idiotic ones which have slipped through the gaps than you have got."

The archaic archery law had its purpose in the days when a two-fingered salute had a precise meaning.

Modern UK laws are often stupid because of several things.

1) Too many bills are introduced for there to be proper drafting consideration. The Blair governments passed 3000 new criminal laws.

2) Politicians now have a knee-jerk reaction to any vociferous public issue. They often think that passing a law will solve a problem.

3) People are co-opted onto the drafting committee who have a vested single-issue, and themselves, to promote. These are usually vociferous conservative minorities, aided by some media, who see threats to their world-view everywhere.

4) When the drafting gets bogged down in awkward detail then the final bill will contain areas of vague proscriptions. It is then expected that the Appeal Courts will establish case law when the law enforcement agencies go too far with "mission creep". Unfortunately that assumes members of the public are prepared to run the personal risks of challenging such excesses.

5) Too many restrictive laws are now effected by "secondary legislation" where the government can effectively rule by decree.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: @Big John - " may I laugh my arse off at "You stupid Brits"? "

"It was a fairly sensible way of ensuring that your 'volunteer' army kept in shape in the rare gaps between wars."

Wars in those days were usually part-time affairs - even if they went on for 100 years. The winter was a time when both sides probably stood down.

As a lord's yeomen were a part of his estate workforce - then there also had to be seasonal breaks to keep the farms running.

0
0
Silver badge
Coat

Re: @Big John - " may I laugh my arse off at "You stupid Brits"? "

Wars in those days were usually part-time affairs - even if they went on for 100 years. The winter was a time when both sides probably stood down.

Also, there were the tea breaks and fighting only on weekdays 9 to 5.

0
0

Re: @Big John - " may I laugh my arse off at "You stupid Brits"? "

Also, there were the tea breaks and fighting only on weekdays 9 to 5.

... not forgetting half day early closing on Wednesdays (showing my age there)

4
0
Silver badge
WTF?

It also bears remembering that the US bans Kinder Eggs on safety grounds, yet seems to belive that guns & ammo are safe.

Or they believe that people are mature and responsible enough to handle fire arms, but not enough to not choke on a well-advertised toy inside of chocolate.

0
0

is it though?

is it still irony if it's complementary to the opposition?

the inverse is true of the left here... doesn't want guns, but killing babies should be completely legal.

0
1
Anonymous Coward

So which parts is it legal to use a vibrator in?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: @Big John - " may I laugh my arse off at "You stupid Brits"? "

With breaks for elevenses and afternoon tea to stave off the hunger pangs between breakfast and lunch, then the long stint between lunch and dinner.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Illegal in some states?

Well, yeah, makes sense, it'd be immensely embarrassing if someone were to walk into a bank with a vibrator and ask them to stick em up

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: @Big John - " may I laugh my arse off at "You stupid Brits"? "

As well as ancient stupid laws we have our share of modern ones too.

The extreme porn laws ban pictures of the cunnilingus where the woman is sitting on the man at the time.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: @Big John - " may I laugh my arse off at "You stupid Brits"? "

"[...] early closing on Wednesdays (showing my age there)"

Several shops in our town's high street still have a half-day closing - although no longer all on the same day as it used to be.

In the 1950s I had a minor accident on the way home from school at lunchtime. Had to get first aid at the ambulance station as even the doctors' surgery observed the city's ordained half-day closing Thursday.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

"[...] the Bluetooth data string is only eight bytes long and the first byte controls the device’s mode."

Presumably the device could be hacked to change mode while in use? It is said that sexual responses are heightened if someone doesn't know exactly what is going to happen next. Gives "anonymous sex" a whole new meaning.

0
0
Silver badge
Linux

Anonymous sex

About 10 years ago I was at a birthday part for a female friend of mine at a bar with about a couple dozen of her other friends, and among the gifts she got was a vibrator meant to remain 'inside' that came with a remote control. After a few drinks she went to the bathroom to try it out, and eventually the remote control was being passed around. She thought it was funny for a few minutes, but then became a little uncomfortable with thinking about a dozen different people controlling what is happening with it over the space of a few minutes - and perhaps because it appeared to start having the intended effect - and demanded the remote be handed over :)

Tux icon, because it is the closest the Reg has to a "rabbit"...

12
0
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Anonymous sex

Did they play "Keep away"?

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Anonymous sex

Well that would make a change from throwing your car keys in a bowl at a <ahem> party.

0
0
Alert

Re: Anonymous sex

Could be worse. A few years earlier the contraption might have used line-of-sight infrared like a TV remote control instead of Bluetooth.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Anonymous sex

" A few years earlier the contraption might have used line-of-sight infrared like a TV remote control [...]"

When remote controls used ultrasonic sound - the TV randomly changed channels every time you jangled a bunch of keys. Vibrating bed springs probably had a similar effect.

1
0

Re: Anonymous sex

I must say, that sounds pretty hot.

0
0

Re: Faraday cage effect

A few years back the Mrs and I were playing with similar device over dinner, after a quick burst of "action" it must have slipped a little further inside and so it became impossible to switch it off again. A quick trip back to our room became necessary between courses.

A couple of other stories of the perils of otherwise of such toys. Before they switched to using bluetooth they didn't seem to have even the basic security of pairing, so any control would work any toy. A couple I used to chat with on certain forum used to like to go out to a pickup joint occasionally and the woman would then enjoy flirting and dancing with guys she fancied. One time they'd just bought her a remote vibe and thought it would add to the fun if the husband could play with his wife while she was being chatted up. They ended up at the bar next to another couple who looked like they might be there to play the scene too, The two women started chatting and then both suddenly jumped. Both their toys had gone off at the same time and both husbands denied it was them. Someone else at the venue also had a controller.

This was a well known problem at the time. One of the better known upmarket vendors of such things held a launch event for some bloggers who review things like vibrators. At that evening's do it soon became obvious to everyone that everyone was on the same channel. Hunt around the review sites and you'll find the stories.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Faraday cage effect

"At that evening's do it soon became obvious to everyone that everyone was on the same channel."

OT:

It puzzles me why R/C model cars from a major manufacturer always use only one channel's frequency in either the 27 or 40MHz bands. Is it penny-pinching to save the cost of tuning the coils during final testing? It means the kids can only race two cars at the same time.

When looking to modify them it appears impossible to buy other crystals with the right form factor. Pairs of standard R/C crystals aren't cheap either. Gone are the days when a crystal's form factor was big enough to grind or etch to a new higher frequency - or use a pencil to lower the frequency with a smear of graphite.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Anonymous sex

"Tux icon, because it is the closest the Reg has to a "rabbit"..."

Just needs to wear a rubber glove on its head with three fingers removed.

0
0
Silver badge

Obviously a vector for inserting into a politician's

Couldn't come up with the right word for the orifices and streams that are associated with these things.

I doubt there is a lot of two-factor, or even one that is involved with making sure your vibrator is not buzzing in the wrong places.

Could we do a bit of spoofing to show that Sen. X is tingling Rep. Y?

0
0
Silver badge
Go

Let your fingers do the walking

I assume this vibrator-controlling app is fully modern and understands touch gestures? Y'know like up-swipe, down-swipe, two-finger-squeeze, five-finger-spread, around-the-horn, around-the-world...

1
0

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017