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Massive cyberattack linked to at least one refrigerator

Ross Cronkrite | Science Recorder | January 18, 2014

Massive cyberattack linked to at least one refrigerator

“Smart” appliances have been transformed into “thingbots” to launch large-scale cyberattacks.

Proofpoint, an internet security firm, has uncovered what may be the first Internet of Things-based cyberattack involving “smart” appliances, including at least one refrigerator. The cyberattack involved more than 750,000 spam emails originating from more than 100,000 consumer gadgets. With the number of internet-connected devices anticipated to significantly increase in the next couple of years, evidence of an IoT-based cyber attack has serious consequences for smart device owners and Enterprise targets.

The firm’s findings show that cyber criminals have started to take over home routers and smart appliances and turn them into “thingbots” to launch large-scale cyberattacks. Criminals wishing to steal identities and gain access to Enterprise IT systems have discovered a target-rich environment in these poorly guarded internet-connected devices that may be easier to infect and control than PCs and tablets.

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