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President-elect Joe Biden is making ready to move into the White House next week, but his Peloton indoor trainer may have to stay home.
Experts speaking to Popular Mechanics last week said that the Peloton’s virtual spin-class experience could pose a cybersecurity threat.
“Because you’re connected to the internet, even though there are firewalls and intrusion detection software … those things can be gotten around if you’re really good and skilled,” said Max Kilger, PhD. “Someone could actually attack that Peloton bike, install malware, and reach out to other places in the White House.”
Kilger, the director of the data analytics program and associate professor in practice at the University of Texas, believes that the Secret Service would have to modify the Biden family bike to secure it against the risk of being hacked.
“If you really want that Peloton to be secure, you yank out the camera, you yank out the microphone, and you yank out the networking equipment … and you basically have a boring bike,” he said. “You lose the shiny object and the attractiveness.”
The front-facing camera and microphone built into the screen of the Peloton allow users to interact with other members in real-time, a feature that has become one of the main selling points of the equipment during its rise to the top of the home fitness ladder. It is believed that the technology has been modified before however – in 2017, The Verge reported that Michelle Obama had a Peloton bike without a camera or microphone.