How Hackers Held People’s Genitals Hostage

Imagine sitting there one day, minding your own business, wearing your Internet-connected chastity belt as you always do, when a message arrives from a hacker. The message tells you that your chastity belt or cage is locked so that you can’t access your genitals and that your only recourse would be to pay 0.02 Bitcoin, which is around $750.

That would constitute a bad day. After all, your genitals aren’t like your social media accounts. At least, they shouldn’t be. You can always delete your social media accounts should they become compromised. But your genitals? Deleting them may be a bit more complicated.

Well, recently Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai described for VICE such ransomware attempts. Apparently, hackers took advantage of a security hole in Cellmates. In this case, Cellmates weren’t prison roommates or cellphones serving as mates. Rather, these Cellmates were Internet of Things chastity cages made by Qiui, a company based in China. Hackers exploited existing holes to try to control these chastity cages and lock them remotely. Victims would then get wonderful messages like, “Your rock is mine now,” except the word wasn’t “rock” and instead was a word that rhymed with “rock” and referred to male genitalia (but could also have meant “rooster.”) If the chastity belt or cage wearers did not pay the demanded ransom, they and their genitals could have been stuck in the cage indefinitely or at least until they visited a doctor, a hardware store, or someone with a real space laser.

The following tweet from The Guardian showed a picture of the Cellmate device:

Hmmm, it sort of looks like an electric shaver or a microphone but shouldn’t be confused for either. Singing karaoke into a chastity belt may bring some interesting looks and is not going to make your rendition of Dua Lipa’s “Break My Heart” sound better. As the Tweet thread indicated, there is some debate over…