internet

'Smart' home appliances vulnerable to malicious hackers

Thursday, January 23, 2014 by: L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
Tags: smart home appliances, hackers, security vulnerability

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
White House admits staging fake vaccination operation to gather DNA from the public
EXCLUSIVE: Natural News tests flu vaccine for heavy metals, finds 25,000 times higher mercury level than EPA limit for water
Irrefutable proof we are all being sprayed with poison: 571 tons of toxic lead 'chemtrailed' into America's skies every year
Truvia sweetener a powerful pesticide; scientists shocked as fruit flies die in less than a week from eating GMO-derived erythritol
Russia taking McDonald's to court, threatens countrywide shutdown
Why does the CDC own a patent on Ebola 'invention?'
Senator who attacked Doctor Oz over dietary supplements received over $146,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma mega-retailer and Monsanto
Global warming data FAKED by government to fit climate change fictions
Oregon man serving prison sentence for collecting rainwater on his own property
HOAX confirmed: Michelle Obama 'GMOs for children' campaign a parody of modern agricultural politics
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
Ebola outbreak may already be uncontrollable; Monsanto invests in Ebola treatment drug company as pandemic spreads
Ben & Jerry's switches to non-GMO, Fair Trade ice cream ingredients
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women
Elliot Rodger, like nearly all young killers, was taking psychiatric drugs (Xanax)
Right to farm being stripped from Americans: Michigan to criminalize small family farms with chickens, goats, honey bees and more
BREAKING: CDC whistleblower confesses to MMR vaccine research fraud in historic public statement
Delicious
(NaturalNews) The first ever cyber attack on "smart" home appliances (those connected to the internet) has been uncovered. An investigation launched by security firm Proofpoint finds that hackers had broken into household appliances, such as refrigerators, televisions and routers, between December 23, 2013, and January 6, 2014. The hackers were able to send hundreds of thousands of malicious emails from compromised household "smart" appliances which are hooked up to insecure internet networks. Other smart appliances can include things like smoke detectors and thermostats.

Internet-connected appliances can now be invaded and used as hacker havens

In just two weeks, hackers had invisibly invaded multiple homes and sent over 750,000 malicious emails from random "smart" household appliances. Is your thermostat a hacker haven?

Proofpoint said the cyber attacks also included compromised laptops and tablet devices, but the most stunning hijackings were found in various household appliances. At least 25 percent of the cyber hijackings involved non-traditional internet-connected appliances, making it the first proven breach of smart appliances. These smart appliances are part of a new tech trend, referred to as the "internet of things," which is a network of appliances all connected and controllable by the internet.

"The 'Internet of Things' holds great promise for enabling control of all of the gadgets that we use on a daily basis," said Michael Osterman, principal analyst at Osterman Research, "But it also holds great promise for cybercriminals... to launch large and distributed attacks."

These distributed attacks can be launched to attack individuals or entities at the rate of 100,000 or more emails a day, as seen in this investigation. These internet-of-things devices usually go unprotected by anti-spam and antivirus programs and are hardly ever monitored by alerting software that reminds users to patch new security issues as they arise.

Hackers exploit compromised devices to create a botnet attack platform

Hackers take over the appliances by linking up compromised devices to create a botnet. A botnet is like an army of "zombie devices" that are used to attack other computers by performing tasks such as overbearing a website with traffic.

In this instance, the hackers sent out mass, malicious spam emails in their botnet attack. This botnet method is becoming harder to track, thanks to an ever expanding network of internet-connected devices and insecure public networks.

Growing networks of internet-connected devices make cyber attacks hard to track

The Gartner research firm expects that by 2020 more than 30 billion internet-connected devices could be in use worldwide. To put that in perspective, there were approximately 2.5 billion internet-connected devices in people's hands in 2009. As more devices go online, privacy is likely to be sacrificed for mere convenience.

And with so many new household gadgets entering the marketplace, security firms like Proofpoint are finding it harder to track privacy breaches and cyber attacks, as solutions to protect mobile devices becomes a battlefield.

For instance, the recent attacks investigated by Proofpoint found that hackers launched no more than 10 emails from any single IP address. Proofpoint said that many of the hijackings were initiated in devices that were not set up correctly, were performed in internet connections that used default passwords or were conducted on easy to find public networks.

The newest hardware "smart" appliances hitting the marketplace are Google's newly acquired Nest, which is a thermostat and smoke detector company that was purchased for $3.2 billion.

As the convenience of internet-connected devices grows in popularity, how might regular household appliances become a data-collecting mine, a privacy-breaching haven or a hacker's launch pad?

Sources for this article include:

http://www.rt.com

http://www.nbcnews.com

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.