In news headlines that could only happen in the hellscape of 2017, an article claims that hackers could easily hack into sex robots and kill their owners in the future, so that’s cool. The Daily Star spoke to cybersecurity lecturer Dr. Nick Patterson, who claimed that a future where sex robots turning on their owners and killing them wasn’t far off in the future.
In a statement with the Daily Star Online, Patterson said that “Hackers [could] hack into a robot or a robotic device and have full control of the connections, arms, legs, and other attached tools like in some cases knives or welding devices.”
Patterson also claimed that hacking sex robots could be even easier than hacking into someone’s phone or laptop — freaky!
Thankfully, cybersecurity expert, Jason McNew, an Air Force veteran who previously worked for the White House Communications Agency, was able to shed some light as to just how much of a threat sex robots could really be.
From a technological standpoint, McNew says that it’s true that “hacking” a sex doll robot would definitely be possible, considering most internet-connected devices are designed with security in mind (ie, this Jeep Cherokee going rogue)…BUT the pure physical and technological limitations of sex robots as they stand now, mean sex doll owners are probably safe for now.
The latest commercially available sex robot technology is called the Samantha doll, a $3,300 sex doll that responds to certain pressure points with moans and phrases like “I like this,” or “nice and gentle” and “I love what’s about to happen,” when you touch her. The Samantha doll houses her computing software and memory on an SD card in her head, but is not connected to the internet.
McNew notes that if you assume the market for these sex doll robots are mostly adult males, and that the robots are female, and therefore limited in size and weight to fit the typical porny tiny-waist, curvy, petite look of sex dolls, you probably wouldn’t have much of a problem. “Robot parts are also heavy and bulky, so the form factor is going to be very limiting, as least with current technology.” And since sex robots are soft to the touch (for obvious, sex-roboting reasons), any necessary mechanics would probably be located within their skeletal structure. “A 115 lb. robot that is covered with silicone won’t be able to do much physically. Go onto YouTube and search for “bipedal robots” — robots that can walk on two legs. Look at how heavy, ugly, cumbersome (and expensive) they are with today’s technology.” “Worse,” McNew points out, “the really good ones are corded.”
Crazily (or thankfully), for all the technology that’s advanced in the last few years, robots still actually move hella awkwardly:
Does that look like something that’d be fast or able to chase you around?
Also, remember how Patterson said robots with knife-wielding or welding devices could attack owners? How many sex dolls do you know with knives or welding devices innately built into them?
Right now, most sex robots aren’t internet-connected, however, as McNew points out, a non-internet connected device can still be hacked. Going forward, “if the robots are to have a ‘personality’ like Siri or Alexa, this will require Internet connectivity, thus increasing potential cyber-attack vectors.” It could also create serious security problems if the customers can install third-party software on the robots.
Realistically, at this stage in the game, with the sex doll technology that exists right now, what’s the worst a hacker could do with a sex robot? According to McNew, “[It would] probably be to exfiltrate data and use it to embarrass or extort the doll owner. I would have to guess that many of the owners would like to keep their ownership and usage a secret.”
As to how far in the future sex robot hacking would become a serious issue, McNew says the risk is immediate (gulp), “The second you give one of these things an IP address, I guarantee someone, somewhere, is going to get to work right away on hacking them. However, it will be several decades or more before a robot having the form factor of a human is sufficiently complex and powerful to physically harm the users.”
Until then, maybe all anyone can do is laugh over the possibility of sex robot wars to come and thank their lucky stars that men only seem to want to fuck soft silicone feathers, and not like, fleshlights strapped to welding machines rolling around on a tank track. When aesthetics catch up to knife-holding robots though, that’s when you know you’re really in trouble.
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