Rogue smart fridge deals out spam, the email kind

In a world first, a fridge has been found as part of a spam email cyber attack. But it's not alone as smart TVs and media players were involved in sending over 750,000 spam emails between 23 December and 6 January.

Security firm Proofpoint uncovered the cyber attack that used connected home devices for a global spam email and phishing scheme. This is the first time a fridge has been used to launch an attack of this kind.

In the same way that computers can be hacked to form botnets, which can use the machine's processing power and connection to spam others, this attack has used smart devices.

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"No more than 10 emails were initiated from any single IP address, making the attack difficult to block based on location," said Proofpoint. The worry with using connected devices to attack is how easily it can be. "In many cases, the devices had not been subject to a sophisticated compromise; instead, misconfiguration and the use of default passwords left the devices completely exposed on public networks, available for takeover and use."

As the internet of things grows and more home devices become connected points of attack are growing and more processors are available to strengthen botnets. This could be a worry although we remember the same fears arising when the internet first started getting into homes. It will likely just be a process of security catching up. In the meantime keep a wary eye on your smart gadgets, you never know who's keeping an eye on your failed diet every time your open the fridge door.



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