Hackers use household refrigerator to launch cyber attack

January 21, 2014TECHNOLOGY It’s easy these days to picture a gang of caffeine-fueled hackers attempting to crack their way into your bank account using a network of computers, but things get even more disturbing when their target — and weapon — of choice is a kitchen appliance. Hackers have used a refrigerator to send spam emails in the first proven cyber attack of its kind. Proofpoint, a digital security firm, discovered a global cyber attack that involved a refrigerator, among other “smart” household objects. The hack involved sending more than 750,000 malicious emails to businesses and individuals around the world. This type of cyber attack is referred to as a botnet attack, which involves a collection of computers located in peoples’ homes or businesses. Any thermostat, door lock or fridge that connects to the Internet could be used in the hack. The hack took place on the “Internet of things,” a tech term that refers to the idea that every device in your house can have its own computer chip, software or connection to the Internet. If it’s connected, it can be controlled by a hacker.
 “Many of these devices are poorly protected at best and consumers have virtually no way to detect or fix infections when they do occur,” David Knight, general manager of Proofpoint’s Information Security division, said in a news release. “Enterprises may find distributed attacks increasing as more and more of these devices come online and attackers find additional ways to exploit them.” For the botnet attack, cyber criminals took control of more than 100,000 items, including television sets, home-networking routers and at least one refrigerator. According to the Proofpoint release, the household items made easy targets. Hackers were able to get in because, in many cases, the owners didn’t set up the appliances properly or never changed the default passwords. These devices also may be easier to connect to and infect than a PC, laptop or tablet. –LA Times
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5 Responses to Hackers use household refrigerator to launch cyber attack

  1. Irene C says:

    Although this is serious, I’m sitting here shaking my head. Sounds like a bad SyFy movie “When Refrigerators Attack”. “Maximum Overdrive for the 21st Century.


  2. Oh Lord! Not another Cold War!


  3. lannyboy1 says:

    Won’t have one of those “smart” appliances in my home, EVER!


  4. niebo says:

    Oh, dudes, I see it now: Hacker gets munchies, raids the fridge, and BING! Genius! In the worst kind of way, like anti-genius or, hey: g-evil- ius! Gevilius! Wow, like, hack the world WHILE you eat your boloney. That is so BOSS! Er, wait. Wait! I gotta reconsiderate this. Oh, MAN! This. means that, like, we gotta get anti-virus for our feridgedators that, like, has nothing to do with disinfectication? Or else we might come back to the casa to find the doors swingin’, our freezers definitively NOT froze AND our sandwich dressing and beers in the floor, even while it’s textin’ and mailin’ that the cheese is good and there is absolutively nothing bogus underway? No way! Or, yes way! I’m so confoozed! It’s so wrong but, it’s also, like, the COOLEST hack ever!


  5. Sadly, its all too true.


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