Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Joe Biden might not be able to bring his Peloton to the White House

With a camera, microphone and internet connection, the Peloton is said to pose a cybersecurity threat

President-elect Joe Biden reportedly owns a Peloton – but he may not be able to bring it to the White House for security reasons. "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," said an expert.

Popular Mechanics reports that Peloton is aware its bikes aren’t necessarily secure. On a page on its website, the firm says, "no matter how much effort we put into system security, there can still be vulnerabilities present."

According to Max Kilger, the director of the Data Analytics Program and Associate Professor in Practice at the University of Texas at San Antonio: "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."

Kilger says there are hacking communities geared towards various devices, including the Peloton.

"For example, they've hacked it to be able to show Netflix shows on the screen – which you really aren't supposed to be able to do, but they've managed it. So someone could actually attack that Peloton bike, install malware, and reach out to other places in the White House."

Michelle Obama is said to have a modified Peloton without a camera or microphone, but Kilger suggests other measures could be taken.

He says the bike could simply be set up in an area where classified discussions would not take place or a hardwired connection separate from the rest of the White House network could be used.

You’d imagine that some solution will be found. The Washington Post has previously reported that Donald Trump had a $50,000, internet-connected, room-sized golf simulator installed in the White House.

Emails from the US Secret Service show that personnel exchanged "notes" and "tech info" about the TrackMan golf simulator in the months prior to its installation.

Failing that, Biden could just get himself an old school ‘dumb’ turbo trainer that isn’t connected to the internet.

We’d recommend the Tacx Booster, or Minoura’s hybrid roller, which is also very light if he fancied hoicking it aboard Air Force One.

Alternatively, he could put a bit of emphasis on improving his skills as well and go for a set of rollers.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

Add new comment


jerv | 3 years ago

So it makes sense to note have it in the oval office or other parts of the building that operate at a classified level or higher, but surely there is a room somewhere (maybe a gym, though I doubt Donald touched it) where it could reside and not pose a threat.

bobrayner | 3 years ago
1 like

I'm no big fan of Peloton, but pretty much all modern tech has a risk of vulnerabilities, and "no matter how much effort we put into system security, there can still be vulnerabilities present" is actually a mature position. It wouldn't be hard to apply the White House's usual network security controls, and to keep the bike in a gym room to reduce risk further; Biden is hardly going to be spinning away during a national security briefing in some top-secret area.

Pretty much everyone in the White House is carrying other smarter devices (often multiple phones and tablets &c) which are a much easier target for threat actors, and which are much higher impact because they handle actual work documents, emails about policies and political problems &c rather than a little database of some politician's cadence and HR and preferred training sessions. There are very limited options to send a dodgy PDF to somebody's Peloton saying "Your tax refund document is attached, please complete the form ASAP". The White House already manages bigger risks. 

How hard is it to run a shared Peloton? I suppose there are lots of people in the White House who'd like to take a break and get some cardio. There's not much appeal to jogging through a crowded Covid-infested city which includes a small but nonzero number of people who want to resort to the ammunition box since the ballot box has failed them.

Donald Trump probably spends more time sat on a golf buggy than Biden does on a Peloton - does anyone believe his golf buggy is exhaustively checked for hidden microphones before each ride?

Secret_squirrel | 3 years ago

Or get Joe onto Zwift, then all the work is done by a laptop, and I'm sure they have protocols for securing those easily.  The Bluetooth and Ant sensor connections aren't secure but that should matter in the middle of the White House.

TheBillder | 3 years ago

Oh, I thought you meant he wasn't being allowed to bring a squad of 180 lycra-clad cyclists with him. Which would have been an interesting political move, though I suppose it would have been a little bit crowded.

Latest Comments