Hackers use connected home appliances to launch global cyberattack
Washington: In the age of ' Internet of Things', connected appliances, including smart televisions and refrigerators, have reportedly helped in launching what is said to be a global cyberattack, a security firm has revealed.
Researchers at Proofpoint have discovered the 'global cyberattack' launched from more than 100,000 everyday consumer gadgets such as home-networking routers, televisions and refrigerators.
According to CNN, in what is said to be possibly the first proven cyberattack to originate from connected appliances, researchers have found that the attack occurred between December 23 and January 6 and features malicious e-mails targeting businesses and individuals worldwide.
Proofpoint said that the scam involved more than 750,000 e-mails from more than 100,000 appliances that had been commandeered by "thingbots," or robotic programs that can be remotely installed on digital devices.
General manager of Proofpoint's Information Security division, David Knight said that Bot-nets are already a major security concern and the emergence of thingbots may make the situation much worse.
He further explained that many of the connected appliances are poorly protected at best and consumers have virtually no way to detect or fix infections when they do occur.
The company also noted that connected appliances typically aren't protected by anti-spam or anti-virus software, nor are they routinely monitored for security breaches and they didn't require sophisticated hacks but the mere use of default passwords was enough to make them vulnerable.