US President Joe Biden will probably be unable to bring his family’s Peloton Bike to the White House.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is worried that the newly inaugurated President’s Peloton bike could be a security threat as it is equipped with tools that could be used against the US.
A Peloton bike is an indoor stationary bike that is connected to social media. The bike allows users to live-stream their workout and communicate with other Peloton Bike users through its built-in microphone and camera.
Max Kilger, PhD, Director of the Data Analytics Program and Associate Professor in Practice at the University of Texas at San Antonio, in an interview with Popular Mechanics, said that a skilled enough hacker could get around the Peloton bike’s firewalls and intrusion detection software.
Dr Kilger also noted that there are hacking communities that are capable of hacking into the Peloton Bike to show Netflix shows on the Peloton Bike’s screen, which the Peloton Bike wouldn’t be able to normally do.
Dr Kilger then theorised if someone was capable of doing that, then someone could also hack the Peloton Bike, install malware remotely, then “reach out to other places in the White House.”
The US Secret Service has many rules and regulations about the sitting President using devices. According to Reader’s Digest, the Secret Service only allows the President to call friends or have a video chat with them through a secured line.
Presidents cannot also use personal technology unmonitored. Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump were advised to discontinue their use of their BlackBerry and Twitter account respectively, or at least use them significantly less often after assuming office.
Dr Kilger added that the Secret Service and the CIA would have to trim the indoor bike down to a regular stationary bike should the President insist to bring it with him to the White House.
This was not the first time a Peloton Bike was taken apart to pass through the CIA and Secret Service.
According to Lauren Goode of The Verge, a person close to Peloton mentioned to her that Michelle Obama had a modified Peloton Bike that doesn’t include the built-in cameras and microphones.
However, Ms Goode was unable to confirm this with Peloton nor with Michelle Obama’s press office.
The same case could happen with President Biden’s Peloton bike, said Richard H. Ledgett Jr., a former deputy director of the National Security Agency in a Chicago Tribune report.
Ledgett would also advise President Biden to choose a unique username for him to use every month and keep the Peloton Bike away from places where sensitive conversations could be held.
Written by John Paul Joaquin