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Can we rely on watches? 6 watches for children in the test
Tracers GPS disguised connected watch allow parents to set up a digital monitoring of their offspring. However, the evaluation of six watches for current children by the AV-TEST Institute found a terrible vulnerability. Some of them might even put children at risk. Six GPS watches for children on the testbed of the AV-TEST Institute.
Trust, is good, but control is better?
Who you can talk to you more valuable? When it comes to their children, parents have reason to check closely who is trustworthy and who isn’t. What is the reputation of your neighbors, leaders of groups of children and other people in your entourage? This is also true when it comes to determine what freedoms given to your children: can they attend school with classmates, play out without parental supervision? These experiments represent important steps for the development of self-confidence of young teenagers, but also for parents.
These are however much less critical of technical devices of control of their children. According to current studies, about 10% are already using a GPS Tracker. Certainly, these buyers still mainly use these devices to locate themselves, for example on vacation, or follow their luggage and pets at the track. However, more than 70% of respondents believe that plotters are good tools to ensure the safety of the children and control children. They commit so a serious error in judgment as shown in this test. Indeed, none of the six tested Chartplotter GPS watches is protected against attacks that can be performed without special knowledge with software available for free on the Internet. However, these attacks can be extremely dangerous for children.
AV-TEST examines the IoT devices during security tests complete.
In accordance with the structure of the test the laboratory examined the safety of data traffic, protection against manipulation and the use of data for user of GPS watches for children. All children watches examined during the test are vulnerable to the Call ID Spoofing. This digital identity theft allows the attackers to call under a wrong number. Children can then easily be deceived. Applications to falsify the telephone numbers are regularly offered by Google Play and the Apple App Store. Such online offers that “SpoofCard” even allow attackers to imitate the voice familiar to the victims.
Reviews of All GPS Watches for Children
We have prepared a section of the best gps watches reviewed for your please. There are many smartwatches for children that may fit your bill. But if you’re looking for the best fit it is better to check some other resources specialized for them. There are many GPS watches for kids reviews out there with great descriptions of the most popular GPS watches products. Just read them carefully, inspect their best features and make your decision. It is about your child, and the GPS technology is the best there is currently. So invest wisely in such a device.
A geo-fence meant to protect
Devices location of children presented in elegant connected watch with trend functions have more chance of being accepted as simple GPS plotters. These watches for children are thus promoted with suitable names, for example like “adventure watch.” Like the normal GPS tracers, these watches work via a SIM sold separately, which establishes radio contact permanent with an application on the mobile phone of parents. So the child or rather the watch can be localized (e) via GPS or direction depending on the coverage of the network and the device, its location is displayed almost to the metre on the smartphone or on the device connected to the Internet. Most applications of these products include a function of geofencing to delineate safe zones on a map, for example, the garden or the way to school. An alert is triggered as soon as the GPS watch leave these areas. Here we are already faced with the first problem of the location of the children: indeed, if a child withdraws its tracer or to take off and keep it in the ‘safe zone’, then the parents are not alerted on their mobile phone. Some products try to solve this problem by sending a message to the mobile phone of the parents when the watch is removed, a bit like a bracelet of electronic surveillance for offenders.
Some watches do not just check that the child remains in the digital nails, but also analyze its movement speed. This allows to check if your little one dragged a few feet on the way to school. Other applications store traveled routes and the speed of the watches over an extended period up to one month, or more. Parents can identify regular travel patterns of their children over long periods. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones.
Phone on the wrist
With their SIM card, many watches for children have several communication functions, including a SOS button. If the child is in danger, the child may report it by pressing the button on the watch. A call for help with the current position of the watch is then displayed on the application of the parents and a telephone connection is established. It allows parents to talk to their child. When the emergency button is pressed, a few watches called several emergency numbers defined beforehand, for example that of the mother, father, grandmother, but also police. Some watches can also call predefined phone numbers. These watches for children so to call at the touch of a button.
Banned listening devices?
A manufacturer touts its invisible phone function. However, this “Remote Voice Monitoring” both praised masks everything simply a function of wiretaps. It allows parents to activate the microphone built into the watch, without telling the child and to spy on the discussions close to the microphone, for example during the course. This function will, frankly, too far for the superior authority of regulation of telecommunications in Germany. In late November, the Federal agency networks (in English) so classified watches with such functions “of illegal spying devices. Since then, the sale, purchase and possession of watches for children with a secret phone function are liable to punishment in Germany. This authority also asked buyers of these watches to destroy them.
Among the plotters for children tested, only ANIO offers such functions of espionage. The laboratory assessment revealed, however, that this manufacturer had disabled the wiretap for the German telephone network, before the official ban. None of the other watches for children tested did not offer wiretap function and is therefore affected by the ban on sales.
Many functions, a child under high surveillance
One watches for children controlled by AV-TEST monitors the vital functions of the child, for example calories burned and the rhythm of sleep. The validity of these data entry has not been controlled as part of this security test. The AV-TEST Institute also has not evaluated the teaching of all of these functions as well as interest of tracing children itself.
In addition to all these functions, all of the watches for children shows also the date and the time of analog or digital way to choose. Through these products, children learn eventually even to read the time.
Test of six connected to GPS Tracker for children watch
AV-TEST lab testers examined under the microscope these six GPS watches for children:
- BELIO, GPS watch for kids, Netherlands
- ANIO, Two WLAN Touch, Allemagne
- Cat, CARL Kids, Germany
- MyKi, shows GPS/GSM for children, Bulgaria
- hellOO, shows for children, Netherlands
- Pingonaut, Kidswatch, Germany
External communication: call from a stranger under a known number!
None of the tested children’s watches fills one of the essential functions of protection of children, namely, that the incoming call comes the person displayed by the watch! Conversely, this means that if the watch shows the child that MOM, Dad or Grandma have called or texted, it does not necessarily have to reality. In the testing laboratory, all watches have proved vulnerable to the “Call ID Spoofing” (caller ID spoofing). In doing so, criminals manipulate phone connections via loopholes in the telephone Protocol so that a number that has already been composed is displayed on the phone called. With applications available for free as well as online as ‘SpoofTel’ services, the falsification of identity is within the reach of all. This service offers even options like voice modulation to mimic familiar voices.
Do not disclose the numbers of children!
In fairness, it should be noted that these usurpations of identity are not limited to watches for children, but are possible on any smartphone. Unlike the teenagers with their own smartphone, children with connected watches are easier to deceive, not because of their age, and are therefore much more vulnerable targets.
As these watches only work with SIM cards for which the PIN code has been disabled previously, attacks are still more likely than on smartphones to teenagers. Also, the test showed that the SIM card can be withdrawn without hardware protection in most of the watches. Due to the absence of a PIN, the attackers can easily discover the corresponding phone number. Just to briefly place the SIM card in its own smartphone. Once in possession of the phone number, for example can remotely control the watches by SMS. ANIO Watch has this vulnerability, because its SMS feature is only protected by a standard password. Insofar as they plan to use a watch for children, parents should at all costs be careful that the number of the SIM card used remains a jealously guarded family secret. Up to a certain age, this also applies to children’s cell phone numbers.
Application of fake calls control!
Regulation of spoofing (impersonation) tools available for free would enable to reduce the risk of calls with an identity usurped for children. Although spoofing can be useful as a research tool for journalists or lawyers, the police authorities of many countries warn against fraud using this method. In Germany, the spoofing for example is prohibited by article 66 k of the telecommunications Act. Clear regulations concerning the software and services online spoofing, which are generally offered as entertainment applications in the app store and present a large number of downloads, would appear here wise.
Not encrypted and handled
Watches for children test also revealed some other weaknesses that could compromise the safety of children. Indeed, that goes without saying for the communication of the most simple applications is simply ignored by half of the manufacturers of connected watch for children: an encrypted communication between the watch for children, the cloud server and application parents! Three of the six tested watches send so data and information through connections unencrypted from the watch to the application through servers. The attackers then have the ability to intercept and view sneak information sent to the application of the parents through the man in the middle (MITM) attacks.
It also means that attackers who infiltrate in the communication between the watch and the application can intercept and analyze information such as the current location of the child, the safety zones defined by parents on the application, messages sent between parents and child and much more. A watch includes vital values like sleep patterns. Due to the transfer of unencrypted, the attacker can also handle the communication between the parents and the child, which is supposed to be trustworthy. It can send fake SMS messages.
On this test point at least, manufacturers BELIO watches, MyKi and Pingonaut responded well and protect their holders against such attacks through an encrypted communication. ANIO watch uses certainly no connections for sending encrypted data, but those data are not delivered in clear to attackers. The manufacturers CAT and hellOO deprive their customers of encryption protect data traffic meanwhile. In both cases, the registration and the use of the application of the parents are not encrypted. Laboratory testers have access to the registration data, login and password changes.
Parenting applications vulnerable to the attempts of espionage
Another crucial point is the security of the application used for communication between the parents and the child. The laboratory examined her in detail. Here, too, two thirds of the watches have gaping loopholes. The application of CAT has failed the test. Partly due to the fact that the access data are saved without encryption in a log file on the SD card of the smartphone.
Access data thus retrieved give attackers an additional possibility to gather information on the movement of children or to spy on and manipulate communication. Only the manufacturer Pingonaut as well as the product of ANIO were able to convince the testers on this point. Applications of BELIO, hellOO and MyKi showed some weak points.
The data protection protects children
The test results are far from reassuring. The AV-TEST Institute may recommend any of the watches to GPS Tracker for children tested, not because of the attacking possibilities related to the Call ID Spoofing. Apart from this general risk, only the product of Pingonaut was able to convince the testers. Despite everything everyone the ANIO, BELIO and MyKi products have earned two stars. Manufacturers hellOO and CAT watches failed the test due to gaps in security and so did none of the three possible stars. These two products have big flaws, and not only in the external communications category. Review of the security of the applications of the two manufacturers, as well as the absence of hellOO data protection statement are indeed far from fulfilling the requirements of the test.
It’s back! A new school year begins for your children and perhaps they will claim a bit more freedom and ask to go home alone after school. If you worried about this last idea, why not turn to him and connected objects offer a device like a watch connected to watch him from a distance and let him take his independence safely?