I love my niece and nephew so very much.  Since they live in Albany I don't get to see them much, but when I do, it's spoil-city.  The last time I saw them was Thanksgiving, and I asked them what they wanted for Christmas.

If you just watched those videos, you saw my little Abbie saying she wanted a talking unicorn.  So what does Aunt Laura do?  Aunt Laura searches high and low for a TALKING FLIPPING UNICORN (that's NOT $700...Aunt Laura is also broke).

I found the closest thing I could, which was a CloudPet Unicorn.  Basically, through an app, you can send voice recordings to your loved one, and the message plays back through the toy.  Cool idea for a long distance aunt, right?

WRONG.

As it turns out, some jerk probably living in his mom's basement who finds joy in hacking into things* has ruined it for everyone.

I just got an email from CloudPets, informing me that the caring, loving, thoughtful gift I tracked down for my sweet niece....is extraordinarily dangerous.  The email states:

We recently discovered that unauthorized third parties illegally gained access to our CloudPets server. Our investigation concludes that no voice recordings or profile pictures were stolen. The stolen user account information may have included names, email addresses, and encrypted passwords.

We have taken measures to block further unauthorized access, and reported the matter to the appropriate authorities for further investigation.

As an additional security measure we are asking all users to create new stronger passwords.

User accounts were exposed, and about 2.2 million recordings were "leaked".

So, if you've got one too, the messages aren't currently available any longer.  But you may want to read more in this article.

*editorial comment. I'm sure it was a perfectly wonderful human being who decided to hack into a child's toy.