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World

May 20, 2017

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Toys can be ‘weapons’

Toys can be ‘weapons’

THE HAGUE: An 11-year-old "cyber ninja" stunned an audience of security experts on Tuesday by hacking into a teddy bear via bluetooth to show how interconnected smart toys "can be weaponised".

American wunderkind Reuben Paul may be still only in 5th grade at his school in Austin, Texas, but he and his teddy bear Bob wowed hundreds at a timely cyber security conference in The Netherlands.

"From airplanes to automobiles, from smart phones to smart homes, anything or any toy can be part of the" Internet of Things (IOT)," he said, a small figure pacing the huge stage at the World Forum in The Hague.

"From terminators to teddy bears, anything or any toy can be weaponised."

To demonstrate, he deployed his cuddly bear, which connects to the icloud via wifi and bluetooth smart technology to receive and transmit messages.

Plugging into his laptop a rogue device known as a "raspberry pi" -- a small credit card size computer -- Reuben scanned the hall for available bluetooth devices, and to everyone’s amazement including his own, suddenly downloaded dozens of numbers including some of top officials.

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