Joe Biden, the new US president, will have to renounce his Peloton smart bike because it presents significant security concerns, showing that IoT security problems are not limited to regular users. Peloton bikes are, in fact, smart IoT devices that feature online connectivity, cameras and microphones. Imagine the risk of placing this type of device, which can’t be properly secured, inside the president’s private residence.
A report from Popular Mechanics says the presidential family won’t take the Peloton equipment into the residence, at least not immediately. That’s not to say that there’s some vulnerability in use right now with this IoT device, but it’s impossible to fully secure when you don’t have access to the source code and the technology.
Everything the new president uses goes through security analysis, and anything that could be compromised will be investigated and possibly replaced. For example, presidents have used one-of-a-kind smartphones, and nothing is stopping Peloton from making a similar exception for Biden.
There’s even a precedent for such a modified device. A Verge article mentioned that Michele Obama used a custom Peloton that had no camera or microphone.
“Peloton has a custom operating system built on top of Android’s own system and the bike itself has networking equipment inside to allow it to access your home WiFi network or a hard-wired connection, like Ethernet,” says the report.
In fact, a powerful community of Peloton users and developers has already managed to make serious changes to the devices, allowing them to use Netflix during exercise, which is not officially supported by the company.