11-year-old boy hacked a teddy bear to show the importance of cybersecurity

11-year-old boy hacked a teddy bear to show the importance of cybersecurityTechnology brings a lot of benefits to our lives, but also some perils. The problem is most people don’t realize just how important cybersecurity is.

But 11-year-old Reuben Paul from Austin, Texas knows that. And wants to send a message to everyone. So he went to a cybersecurity conference and hacked an interactive teddy bear with a built-in Bluetooth device, the Guardian reports.

“From airplanes to automobiles, from smartphones to smart homes, anything or any toy can be part of the Internet of Things (IOT). From terminators to teddy bears, anything or any toy can be weaponised”, said Paul during his presentation.

Paul used a Raspberry Pi computer to find active Bluetooth connections in the crowd’s devices. He did and took phone numbers from them. “Most internet-connected things have a Bluetooth functionality … I basically showed how I could connect to it, and send commands to it, by recording audio and playing the light,” he told AFP later.

Reuben has always been very keen on technology, his father adds. The boy has already hacked a toy cay and then decided to explore other options with other toys. He was shocked to find the possibilities that lie within tech toys, including internet-connected stuffed animals.

In order to help spread the message, his family helped him to set up the non-profit organization CyberShaolin. The name is inspired from the fact that Reuben is also the youngest American to have become a Shaolin Kung Fu black belt. Reuben wants to inform kids and adults about the dangers of cyber-insecurity and to motivate them to take better care.