The vulnerabilities, laid out in a report published Friday by security firm Bluebox Labs, are the latest black eye for so-called "Internet of Things" devices. The term is applied to appliances and other everyday devices that are connected to the Internet, supposedly to give them a wider range of capabilities. The Hello Barbie doll is able to hold real-time conversations by uploading the words a child says to a server. Instant processing on the server then allows the doll to provide an appropriate response.
Bluebox researchers uncovered a variety of weaknesses in the iOS and Android app developed by Mattel partner ToyTalk. The apps are used to connect the doll to a nearby Wi-Fi networks. The researchers also reported vulnerabilities in the remote server used to communicate with the doll.