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December 5, 2013

Kids’ tablets vulnerable to hacking

Anyone on the same Wi-Fi network as a child can see which sites the child has visited.

By CBR Staff Writer

Kids’ tablet are highly vulnerable to hacking attacks with little or no security for protecting data, a cyber security firm has warned.

The NCC Group considered two tablets likely to be on several of the kids’ wish lists this Christmas.

Researchers found passwords in the first tablet that are sent to the manufacturer over unencrypted connections are "easily crackable".

They also discovered that anyone on the same Wi-Fi network as a child can see which sites the child has visited and update the list of sites they are allowed to visit without requiring a password.

The researchers said: "We looked at a couple of ‘must have’ children’s computer tablets from a major broadsheet’s list for Christmas 2013 and analysed them from a security and privacy perspective.

"The results of this analysis showed that little to no security and privacy engineering happens in the device market aimed at children putting theirs, as well as your, security and privacy at risk."

The second tablet was also vulnerable and can be ‘jail broken to achieve super user (root) level access’.

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Consumers are advised to use a unique password when registering the tablets and not to use these devices on public Wi-Fi networks or on un-trusted networks.

"In a world where we have come to expect cheap and arguably disposable technology it should come as no surprise that the vendor focus is on features and not security engineering and well developed cyber incident response," researchers added.

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