Parents urged to boycott VTech toys after hack response

The BBC is reporting that cybersecurity experts have said parents should boycott or at least be cautious of VTech’s electronic toys because of how it has handled a hack attack.

They gave the advice after it emerged that VTech’s new terms and conditions state that parents must assume responsibility for future breaches.

More than 6.3 million children’s accounts were affected by last year’s breach, which gave the perpetrator access to photos and chat logs. VTech says it stands by the new terms… said a spokeswoman.

“But no company that operates online can provide a 100% guarantee that it won’t be hacked”…

The new terms were flagged by a blog by the Australian security specialist Troy Hunt.

In it, he detailed additional flaws with VTech’s products and alleged that it was misleading for the firm to have described the attack as being “sophisticated”.

He also disclosed that the company had issued new terms and conditions on 24 December for the software that lets parents add apps to its devices and copy off photos and other saved files.

They tell parents: 

“You acknowledge and agree that you assume full responsibility for your use of the site and any software or firmware downloaded. 

“You acknowledge and agree that any information you send or receive during your use of the site may not be secure and may be intercepted or later acquired by unauthorised parties. 

“You acknowledge and agree that your use of the site and any software or firmware downloaded there from is at your own risk.”…

Prof Angela Sasse – director of the UK Research Institute in Science of Cyber Security – added that she would be “cautious” about all of the firm’s products

“The nature of the security flaws identified, and their displayed lack of urgency in fixing them, casts doubt on their security competence,” she told the BBC.

“Instead, they change the T&Cs to ‘dump’ any risk on their customers – I would not trust a vendor who behaves in this way.”…

University College London’s Dr Steven Murdoch also guided potential shoppers elsewhere…

More at Parents urged to boycott VTech toys after hack

 

Not directly a school story, but what do you feel about these new terms and conditions which basically seem to absolve them from any responsibility for future customer data breaches, even if their own security is sub-standard?

Please give us your reactions in the comments or via Twitter…

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