VTech Education Site Compromised

VTech has been running one of the most successful online learning sites for many years, but last month it suffered a serious blow. The site which is part of the global electronic firms web presence was hacked and potentially millions of user credentials compromised.


The company released the details in a recent press release but insisted that no financial details were lost. However the amount of data that was stolen could easily lead to individuals suffering financial loss. The hackers stole names, email addresses, secret questions and answers plus some passwords. They also managed to get hold of other data including children’s names, genders and birthdates.

It is the sheer number of details stolen that is the surprising amount, although many of Vtech’s education tools link in to these web accounts. These accounts are also used to record progress in games and applications so that parents can monitor them.

Children’s games and toys are increasingly linked to web sites and vast databases are kept to track these details. Many children spend much of the time interacting with these online sites and others that are similar. There are many videos which are also attractive to children often produced by simple video makers like Content Samurai, many of these can be found on YouTube.

It is a worry for many parents particularly as children are less likely to be aware of the risks involved in supplying personal information to websites. Most computer games and console games require accounts which are often verified using addresses and mobile phone numbers which would also be stored online. Children are also unlikely to question requests for such information or challenge requirements for those details.

At this point it is unclear whether VTech was deliberately targeted because it had childrens details but this is obvious a major concern. There is an investigation starting in the US about the attack although the company’s headquarters are in Hong Kong.

Jeremy Hallings
Video Maker