11-year-old boy "weaponises" teddy bear at tech event
REUBEN Paul may be only 11 years old, but his technological prowess has wowed industry experts at a technology conference in the Netherlands.
The grade six student shocked an audience of security experts when he casually hacked into their Bluetooth devices to "weaponise" his robotic teddy bear.
His electronic bear, named Bob, is connected to the cloud via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and can send and receive messages.
The youngster used a small credit card-sized computer known as a "Raspberry Pi" to scan the hall for Bluetooth devices and download dozens of phone numbers.
Then, using one of the numbers, he hacked into his bear using the Python coding language and turned on Bob's lights and recorded audio from the crowd.
"IOT (Internet of Things) home appliances, things that can be used in our everyday lives, our cars, lights refrigerators, everything like this that is connected can be used and weaponised to spy on us or harm us," he later explained to AFP.
His father, Mano Paul, told the agency he has always been surprised by his son's ability, and said he became concerned when Reuben easily hacked a toy car.
"It means that my kids are playing with timebombs, that over time somebody who is bad or malicious can exploit."
Electronic toys can be used to steal private information such as passwords, use GPS to pinpoint a person's location, or spy on children by recording audio and video.
Reuben later tweeted: "It was fun but I hope people did not miss the message - secure IoT before the Internet of Toys becomes and Internet of Threats".
If the experts in the room are anything go by, he's got a bright future ahead.