British police make arrest in VTech hacking

NEW YORK -- Police in the U.K. say they've made an arrest in the hacking of kids' technology maker VTech, which compromised the personal information of more than 6 million children around the world.

See Full Article

The South East Regional Organised Crime Unit, a regional task force made up of a handful of English police departments, says its cybercrime unit arrested a 21-year-old man was on hacking-related charges Tuesday morning in Bracknell, a town about 30 miles west of London.

Police seized a number of electronic items that will be examined by a cybercrime forensics unit.

Craig Jones, who heads the cybercrime unit, says in a statement that the investigation remains in its early stages and much work still needs to be done. Few other details were provided.

VTech officials didn't immediately return emails seeking comment.

The November hacking of Hong Kong-based VTech Holdings Ltd.'s Learning Lodge database compromised the profiles of 6.4 million kids around the world, along with the 4.9 million parent accounts that they were connected to.

News of the breach came just as the holiday shopping season was shifting into high gear. Kid-friendly tablets, smartwatches and other connected toys made by companies such as VTech are often high on the holiday wish lists of many children.

The company also has drawn fire in the weeks since the breach from some members of Congress who have demanded to know the details of how VTech collects and secures the personal information of children.

The information contained in the parental accounts included names, email addresses, secret questions and answers for password retrieval, numeric Internet Protocol addresses, mailing addresses, download histories and encrypted passwords.

Information in the children's accounts was restricted to names, ages and genders, the company says. But security experts warn that the stolen information could potentially be used to build profiles of children, potentially setting them up for identity theft or worse down the road.

The breach didn't expose any credit-card or other financial account information, as payments are handled by an outside company on a separate website, VTech says.

Some reports suggested that photos of children and chats between kids and their parents might also have been accessed, but VTech has yet to confirm that.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Hackers only needed a phone number to track this MP's cellphone

    Tech & Science CBC News
    NDP MP Matthew Dubé looks at a map showing that hackers tracked his movements through his cellphone for days. One marker shows Dubé near Parliament Hill. Another marks the place he lives when he's working in Ottawa. Source
  • High-energy 'ghost particles' can be stopped on way through Earth

    Tech & Science CBC News
    High-energy subatomic particles nicknamed "ghost particles" for their ability to pass through just about anything can be stopped, scientists have confirmed. That doesn't require kryptonite or any other special substance — scientists have observed some high-energy neutrinos being blocked and absorbed by the Earth itself as they zip through the planet from the atmosphere or from deep space, reports the international "IceCube" research collaboration in a new paper published today in the journal…
  • The end of night? Light pollution increasing around the world

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A new study shows the world's nights getting alarmingly brighter. A German-led term reported Wednesday that light pollution is threatening darkness almost everywhere. Satellite observations show Earth's artificially lit outdoor area grew by 2 per cent a year since 2012. Source
  • Facebook apologizes to Mafia boss family after posts removed

    Tech & Science CTV News
    ROME -- Facebook is apologizing to the family of the "boss of bosses" of Italy's Mafia for having removed messages of condolences that flowed in after his death last week. A Facebook spokesperson told The Associated Press the posts on the feed of the son-in-law of Salvatore "Toto" Riina were removed in error, after users complained that they violated Facebook's standards. Source
  • Lofty U.S. Thanksgiving: Astronauts feasting on pouches of turkey

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Astronauts at the International Space Station will feast Thursday on pouches of Thanksgiving turkey. The three Americans, two Russians and one Italian will also rip into single-serving bags of mashed potatoes, candied yams, cornbread stuffing and cranberry-apple dessert. Source
  • Flat-Earther rocket scientist plans to launch over ghost town

    Tech & Science CTV News
    The countdown to launch creeps closer and there’s still plenty for self-taught rocket scientist “Mad” Mike Hughes to do: Last-second modifications to his vessel. Pick up his flight suit. Leave enough food for his four cats — just in case anything happens. Source
  • Cheating death: 4 technologies on the mind of a futurist

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Advances in medical technology are continually shifting the way we understand and treat the human body and mind. Gene-editing, artificial organs and nanotechnology aimed at extending our lifespans promise to enrich the human experience and raise untold ethical dilemmas. Source
  • Good morning, Calgary! It's -8 C or +8 C, depending on which part of the city you're in

    Tech & Science CBC News
    It's a warm, windy morning in Calgary. It's also a calm, cold morning in Calgary. Temperatures varied by more than 16 C at different points across the city Wednesday morning as a chinook rolled in from the west. Source
  • FCC chairman sets out to scrap open internet access rules

    Tech & Science CTV News
    MENLO PARK, Calif. -- The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission set out Tuesday to scrap rules around open internet access, a move that would allow giant cable and telecom companies to throttle broadband speeds and favour their own services if they wish. Source
  • Finns want to look for remains of Arctic meteorite

    Tech & Science CTV News
    COPENHAGEN -- The remains of a blazing meteorite that lit up the dark skies of the Arctic last week are believed scattered near a lake in northern Finland, amateur Finnish astronomers said Wednesday. The Ursa astronomical association says their calculations show the parts would have crashed in a remote area near the Norwegian and Russian borders. Source