Hackers Target Toy Manufacturer; Kids’ Photos, Chats Compromised

Dec. 3, 2015

Hackers Target Toy Manufacturer; Kids’ Photos, Chats Compromised Last week, hackers targeted a Hong Kong-based toymaker, getting away with information from five million accounts, including profile photos of children and the text of many of their chat sessions. VTech, which makes tablets and digital cameras that kids can learn on, is drawing scrutiny from U.S. Congress and at least two state attorneys general for their security practices in the wake of the intrusion.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), leaders of the bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, sent a letter to VTech’s CEO asking the company for information detailing its data security practices, especially regarding steps it takes to safeguard data pertaining to children. Spokespeople for Connecticut Attorney General George Jepson and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan both indicated they would investigate the matter.

VTech said in a statement it discovered the breach of its Learning Lodge app store database on Nov. 24 and compromised information includes: names, email addresses, passwords, secret questions and answers for password retrieval, IP addresses, mailing addresses and download histories. Kids’ information that may have been compromised includes names, genders and birthdates.