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A food processor that could be used for spying?

A new version of the Monsieur Cuisine Connect food processor was launched in France on June 3, 2019. The launch, by the way, caused a furor among citizens who thronged the ‘Lidl’ brand stores with a strong desire to have the new device.

But what’s all the fuss about this food processor? The Monsieur Cuisine Connect costs 359 euros and has features very similar to those of the world’s best-selling robot, the Monsieur Cuisine Connect. Thermomix. This was manufactured by the German company Voerwek, and is priced at 1,000 euros.

Many people are dying to have this device, which has a 7-inch touch screen and includes very striking functions. For example, the Cooking Pilot with which it is possible to select recipes that will guide you step by step. It also connects to the Internet, kneads, steams and stirs or grinds ingredients.

The cooking robot is preparing something that is not food, could it be a plan to spy on users?

Two French experts have discovered several cybersecurity problems in the food processor: the first has to do with a hidden microphone, which brings us to the other finding and that is that this runs on Android 6.0, a version of Google’s operating system that has been outdated since 2017, something that makes it even more vulnerable to possible attacks.

The discoveries came about by pure coincidence, when a friend of the young men challenged them to install the game Doom on the device. But in that challenge they discovered something surprising, a tutorial by a German who had managed to “unlock” the Android interface of his Monsieur Cuisine Connect to use it as a real tablet.

However, the most amazing thing was that they found a hidden microphone, even though the company had not given notice of it. Then, the young people made a video in which it is possible to chat through the messaging app Discord, through the speakers and, of course, the microphone.

But, when the French media Numerama published the finding, Michel Biero, Lidl’s executive director of purchasing and marketing, explained that:

“There is a microphone and a speaker because when the developers launched the kitchen robot, it was intended that the device would be voice-controllable and possibly Alexa-controllable. We left the microphone, but it’s totally inactive and it’s not possible for us to activate it remotely.”

However, young people fear for the possibility that in the future they will release an automatic update in which the microphone will be enabled.

Finally and regarding the fact that the device runs Android 6, Biero believes that the developers made it so, because:

“There was no need for a more sophisticated tablet to operate the device.”

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