Freedom for 0.02 BTC: Hacker blackmails user with smart chastity belt

As always, you should be careful which devices you trust with your data in the IoT age. The Cell Mate case shows that genitals can also become the focus of hackers.

Individual users of a smart chastity belt called Cell Mate are currently experiencing cyber blackmail of an unusual kind. To explain: chastity belts are used in the BDSM sector. A person is given control over the partner’s sexual organs by means of a (also digital) key, which many members of the scene find arousing. So far, so good. In the age of cybersex, there is now a variant with the Cell Mate that allows the cage to be opened and closed via app. Many S&M relationships take place online in a Corona-compliant manner, and that’s also where the participants get to know each other. Therefore, the Cell Mate definitely enjoys a certain popularity in the scene – especially these days.

Now, according to a report in Vice magazine, a hacker has apparently managed to get hold of this literally sensitive data in some cases. „Your penis is now mine“ – those affected now heard these words, not from their dominatrix as originally desired, but from a hacker named „Smelly“. This is evident from a screenshot of the conversation obtained by a security researcher. The ominous „Smelly“ is the founder of vx-underground, a website that collects malware samples.

Cell Mate: 0.02 BTC for intimate freedom

According to Vice, one victim reports that a message arrived from a hacker. In it, he demanded a payment of 0.02 BTC (about $750 USD at today’s rate) to unlock the device. The victim realized that his cage was definitely locked and he could not open it either. Fortunately for him, however, the had not put on the Cell Mate at the time of the extortion.

For security experts, this incident probably comes as anything but a surprise. Similar attacks already took place in October last year, as the Chinese manufacturer of the Cell Mate QIUI had left an API open. This opened the door for malicious hackers to take control of the devices. And exactly this scenario has now happened according to a security researcher. Said expert has screenshots of conversations between the hacker and several victims. Among them are those that Motherboard, Vice’s tech magazine, has already spoken to.

The manufacturer Qiui was apparently not yet ready for comment, according to Vice. Be that as it may, among the extortion attempts of the recent past, this case is certainly one of the most curious ones.