Did Lovense Remote Vibrator Really Record Your Private Sessions?

Did Lovense Remote Vibrator Really Record Your Private Sessions?


Long gone are the days of simple vibrators… Image Source: Pinterest

Teledildonics, otherwise called “cyberdildonics” is the technology for remote sex. There already have been plenty of cases of such sex toys exposing the privacy of their users. And despite the frequency of bugs and hacks, manufacturers don’t seem to care all that much.

Lovense App Recording Sound While the Toy Is In Use: How Did This Happen?

A reddit user used the platform to reveal a problem he had with an Android app that controls remote vibrators. The manufacturer is Lovense and the problem is that the toy seemed to be recording while the vibrator was on, as explained by the user.

Related Story: Teledildonics 101. We-Vibe 4 Plus Adult Toy Hacked for Your Privacy

The lovense remote control vibrator app (used to control remote control sex toys made by lovense, such as this one) seems to be recording while the vibrator is on. I was going through my phone media to prepare it for a factory reset and came across a .3gp file named “tempSoundPlay.3gp” in the folder for the App. The file was a FULL audio recording 6 minutes long of the last time I had used the app to control my SO’s remote control vibrator (We used it at a bar while playing pool), the user explained.

What did the company say in response to the user’s claims? First of all, it should be mentioned that more used joined the conversation and shared their negative experiences with the app/ toy. As for the company, it did confirm that the Android app created a temporary file when the Sound Control feature is in use. The file however, is not sent to Lovense’s servers, it said.

Lovense’s Response Says No

Using its official reddit account, the company also said that the issue is nothing but a minor software app which has already been fixed.

The bug has been fixed and an updated version of Lovense Remote is now available for download in the Google Play store. […] The fix deletes the temporary audio file ‘tempSoundPlay’ after exiting the Sound Control feature and the app will do an additional check and delete each time the app is started.

Security Researcher Goes Deeper in the Story

Interestingly, this is not where the story ends. Brad Haines, a security researcher running the Internet of Dongs, focused on analyzing the security and privacy of connected sex toys, decided to check whether Lovense’s claims were truthful.

Using the Lovense Remote v3.0.6 app (last version before the most recent with the fix for this issue) on a test device, it was quickly determined that the file did indeed get created (via the SoundPlayActivity.java file). Any usage of the “Ambient sound” feature would create the temp file in the /sdcard/wear/temp directory. This file was found to persist after leaving the Ambient sound function or closing the app but would be overwritten on the next use.

Related Story: Hack a Vulnerable Wi-Fi Vibrator Equipped with Camera: Done

As it turned out, the contents of the files truly was a complete recording of the surrounding sounds while the Ambient sound function was in use. Restarting the function or the app would overwrite the file, thus only the last “session” was retained, the researcher explained. There were functions the designed to clean up these temp files but they weren’t being called properly.

Was the file sent to a remote server? Shortly said, no. The researcher found out that nowhere was that file access by any process to send it anywhere.

Milena Dimitrova

An inspired writer, focused on user privacy and malicious software. Enjoys 'Mr. Robot' and fears '1984'.

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