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6 Investigates: 'Smart' children's toys vulnerable to hack by strangers

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Smart technology in toys is becoming more popular, but it could put your child's safety at risk. 6 Investigative Reporter Jessica Savage put one smart toy to the test and the results might surprise you. (KRIS 6 News) Smart technology in toys is becoming more popular, but it could put your child's safety at risk. 6 Investigative Reporter Jessica Savage put one smart toy to the test and the results might surprise you. (KRIS 6 News)
CORPUS CHRISTI -

Smart technology in toys is becoming more popular, but it could put your child's safety at risk.

6 Investigative Reporter Jessica Savage put one smart toy to the test and the results might surprise you.

'My Friend Cayla' is not your average doll.

She's smart because of what she can do. The doll can read stories, have conversations and play Tic Tac Toe, and other interactive games with a child

But it's that same kind of technology that prompted the FBI to send this warning in July.

It warns parents of the safety risks for any children's toys that have a Bluetooth or an Internet connection.

That technology can allow for someone to secretly listen and communicate with your child.

But just how vulnerable is the technology?

To find out, 6 Investigates took the doll to the computer science team at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi.

Here's what the team showed us:

"In this scenario, it would be like if the toy was left on, but the device that was paired with it was gone, then anybody can pair with it,” said Jason Clark, undergraduate in the computer science department at TAMU-CC

Within seconds - the team made a bluetooth connection to the doll, and from there they could listen and speak through her.

The good news is that kind of scenario can only happen within close range, such as an apartment complex or a next door neighbor.

"And that's where the real problem is,” Katangur said.

Any farther than about 50 feet from the doll, and the bluetooth connection won't work, Katangur said.

There are ways to protect your child, Katangur said. Keep the toy turned off when it’s not in use and there is a feature on the ‘My Friend Cayla’ doll that allows the child to play with it without using the Bluetooth technology.

Genesis, the company that manufactures ‘My Friend Cayla,’ did not respond to a request for comment.  

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