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This Week in Getting Hacked: Hot New Toy Edition

cybersecurity news
12.09.16
Chris L

All aboard the cybersecurity train! CHOOO CHOOOO! Each week we bring you the greatest and most terrifying cybersecurity and hacking-related news on the web. This is….THIS WEEK IN GETTING HACKED!

On to the links…


If you’re a Visa credit card holder, congratulations on being able to have your card accepted anywhere. However, the downside to that is that you can also have your information hacked in about six seconds thanks to brute force attacks on ecommerce websites.

You figure, there’s only a select number of digits on a card, plus a few more combinations for expiration date, and the CVV is only a 3-digit number, so you have 999 options there too.


A few weeks back, we reported on the UK establishing some pretty insane surveillance laws. This week, in the most convenient–and definitely not suspicious AT ALL– move of all time, UK politicians find themselves exempt when it comes to the strict surveillance laws they enacted thanks to a new rule that says the prime minister must sign off on any surveillance of politicians.

uk cybersecurity laws

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty

Nope, that totally sounds right and not at all like they would want to hide their own privacy while infringing easily on the rights of others. NOTHING TO SEE HERE.


This Christmas, when you’re buying your child that hot new toy that comes with voice activation and WiFi and the ability to understand language and hold complex conversations with your kid, remember that the toy is probably sending off whatever your kid says to the government.

Sure, when you set the toy up with an app or whatever, it says that some data might be sent to the company to “improve” stuff, but all they’re really improving is the ability to collect your information—like your kids name, your name, their school, and your IP address. Who is behind this? America’s original undercover child data collector—TEDDY RUXPIN.


An effort in the Senate to block expansion of U.S. surveillance failed this past week, and now your government can spy on your more, more freely.


If that wasn’t scary enoughU.S. judges can now sign global hacking warrants. Just head on down to your local magistrate and get a warrant to hack someone thousands of miles and oceans away from you.


And finally…

We’ve written extensively on how to improve your online presence and overall cybersecurity. But if you don’t want to listen to us (we understand), take it from the folks at Ars Technica, who came up with a pretty good list of what steps to take to keep yourself secure.

Stay safe out there!

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