When Joe Biden moves into the White House this week, his morning fitness routine could potentially lead to discussions with the Secret Service. The US President and First Lady reportedly own a high-tech Peloton bike that comes standard with a tablet including a microphone and camera. Users can use it to train together with other participants in the live stream.
“If he’s the type of user who pedals and talks to people, that could be problematic,” former NSA deputy director Richard H. Ledgett Jr told New York on Tuesday Times “. The background to this is possible security holes through which hackers could spy on the White House.
We all know that high-tech equipment is not that popular at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. However, Biden would not be the first president to end up getting his favorite gadgets through to the security service. For his part, President Barack Obama also insisted on a Blackberry and an iPad.
According to NSA man Ledgett, there is a very good chance that Biden could keep his peloton bike. From his point of view, however, the camera and microphone must first be removed in order to make the wheel fit for the president, he told the Times. He also advises Biden to change his username every few weeks and to set up the device in a place where eavesdropping has no consequences.
Peloton’s popularity attracts hackers
The US company Peloton has become known for its fitness classes for home. At the center of the business model is a high-tech fitness bike for the living room that can be connected to the Internet. Using a screen attached to the handlebars, users can track their performance, ride virtual bike paths, take part in live spinning courses with other people from all over the world and interact with them. Customers can purchase a Peloton bike for € 2,290. In addition, there is a monthly fee of 39 euros for the courses.
The growing popularity of the peloton bike is now also attracting specialized hacking groups, says Max Kilger, cybersecurity expert and professor at the University of Texas, the magazine “Popular Mechanics”. To the best of his knowledge, there have already been examples in which hackers outwitted the operating system and, for example, got it to play Netflix. “So someone could actually attack the Peloton bike, install malware and reach other places in the White House,” Kilger told the magazine.
More than 200 percent growth in Corona months
Peloton now attracts millions of users and has particularly benefited from the lockdown and closure of the gyms. In the last quarter of the report between July and September 2020 alone, the exchange group took in $ 758 million with its sales – an increase of 232 percent compared to the same period last year. According to official financial documents, the peloton has gained more than 1.3 million new subscribers in the three months.
The US President and his wife Jill Biden also apparently got a taste for the domestic isolation. According to the “New York Times”, his morning routine during the lockdown in April included a training session, which he completed either on the peloton bike, the treadmill or with weights.
The company has also been active in Germany since the end of 2019. The company does not communicate country-specific data on request. In an interview with NewsABC.net, Peloton Germany boss Martin Richter said last September that many new users were added to the local market during the pandemic: “We are very satisfied with the development in Germany and are achieving our targets.”