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Cyberattack traced to hacked refrigerator

Posted by chac_mool (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 18, 14 at 5:06

Saw this article online, at the phys.org website:

To summarize, "Computer security researchers said this week they discovered a large "botnet" which infected Internet-connected home appliances and then delivered more than 750,000 malicious emails."

"The California security firm Proofpoint, Inc. [...] said hackers managed to penetrate home-networking routers, connected multi-media centers, televisions and at least one refrigerator to create a botnet or platform to deliver malicious spam or phishing emails from a device, usually without the owner's knowledge." [....]

"Many [appliances] are poorly protected at best and consumers have virtually no way to detect or fix infections when they do occur. Enterprises may find distributed attacks increasing as more and more of these devices come online and attackers find additional ways to exploit them."

The full article is available at: http://phys.org/news/2014-01-cyberattack-hacked-refrigerator.html


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cyberattack traced to hacked refrigerator

It was pretty inevitable that as companies deployed smart appliances and TVs based on standard Linux/Android hw/sw platforms, that this was going to happen. I am guessing that in these cases of infection, there was little in the way of security on the home network.


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RE: Cyberattack traced to hacked refrigerator

I don't think I'd blame home level network security because:
  • Most people use what their provider gives them
  • Most home level modem/firewall devices provided are not very good
  • Generally, anything allowed outward can let anything in
  • If a device allows an app to control it, it can be hacked from outside of the home

I'd add that 95% of home device makers KNEW this not only could happen but was likely, could have written their device interfaces well enough to make it very difficult, but didn't because the device wouldn't have been as profitable for them.


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RE: Cyberattack traced to hacked refrigerator

I was making reference to the fact that most attacks start with probes, looking for open ports or evidence of lack security. The easiest targets get hit first. The solution space goes well beyond the device interfaces. The reports indicate the hacks targeted known exploits.

Anyway, back to talking about appliances!


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