Hack bots, robotic spies in your home

A team of researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle will present a paper this week slamming the security of today's home robots, includ

The computer scientists evaluated three of the best selling domestic robots and found them vulnerable to hacks that could enable online spying from their webcams and even physical attacks.

The Rovio and Spykee were found to be fully controllable by a remote attacker and to wirelessly leak log-in info and audio-visual information on the home network. The Spykee could be used to steal the log-in credentials of genuine remote users, while the Robosapiens could be hijacked by an attacker using an off-the-shelf remote control.

A researcher said, "There some physical attacks that could be launched using the robots but the main risk is using their webcams to eavesdrop and spy on their owners."

And don't think you can use one rogue robot to tackle another - the team found that multi-robot attacks are more dangerous still. A possible 'key cloning' attack could see a RoboSapien V2 (gripping) used in conjunction with a Rovio (visual stream) and an infrared repeater (to control the V2 from farther away).