When hackers can take your nether regions hostage, something has gone very wrong | Arwa Mahdawi

What on earth did users of the chastity cage Cellmate think might happen when they allowed their bits to be locked up in an internet-connected smart device?

There are times when technology can be a pain in the neck. And then there are times when technology can be a pain in rather more delicate regions – as some users of Cellmate, a line of internet-connected male chastity cages, reportedly discovered. It gives me no pleasure whatsoever to report that malicious hackers have been taking penises hostage and demanding bitcoin for their release.

Don’t worry, we’ll gently unpack this together. Without getting too graphic, Cellmate is a “smart” sex toy that allows someone, usually a trusted partner, to lock up the user’s genitals via an app. (What could possibly go wrong, eh?) The device made headlines last October when researchers said that the product had a security flaw that meant hackers could take control of the products. Which, according to a recent report by Vice’s Motherboard, is exactly what happened. The report was largely based on screenshots of conversations between the hacker and their victims that were obtained by a security researcher who goes by the name Smelly.

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January 13, 2021