Boy and His Teddy Bear Wow Cybersecurity Experts

11-year-old Reuben Paul is a cybersecurity whiz
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2017 12:47 PM CDT
Updated May 20, 2017 10:24 AM CDT
Boy and His Teddy Bear Wow Cybersecurity Experts
An 11-year-old from Texas impressed a roomful of experts at a cybersecurity conference in the Netherlands on Tuesday when he hacked their Bluetooth devices to control his teddy bear.   (Twitter)

It's possible the experts in attendance Tuesday at a cybersecurity conference in the Netherlands didn't know what to make of 11-year-old Reuben Paul when the sixth-grader from Texas took the stage. But by the end of his presentation, they were tweeting compliments like "respect" and "the future of cybersecurity," Mashable reports. According to AFP, Reuben was at the conference to show that "from terminators to teddy bears, any thing or any toy can be weaponized." Reuben put his money where his mouth is, first hacking into the Bluetooth-enabled devices of attendees—reportedly flooring them—then using one of those devices to control his WiFi-enabled teddy bear Bob, turning on its lights and using it to record audio.

Reuben says the same thing can be done with refrigerators, cars, or anything else connected to the internet. He's starting a nonprofit "to inform kids and adults about the dangers of cyber insecurity," and his father says Reuben made him realize children "are playing with time bombs." Previously, Reuben delivered the closing address at a Houston security conference when he was only 8. That same year, he founded his own educational gaming website, Fortune reports. According to the India Times, Reuben attended one of the world's biggest hacker conferences at age 9 and discussed his goal of being a "good cyberspy." He's also the youngest American to get a black belt in Shaolin kung fu and is considering becoming an Olympic gymnast. (ProPublica determined hackers could have a field day at Mar-a-Lago.)

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