The Internet of Things allows consumers to program and monitor all sorts of equipment, devices and appliances, including smart meters, ovens, TVs and refrigerators. It is well known that most of these devices that are connected to the internet do not have any security protections, as they have been designed solely for consumer convenience.
The type and amount of data collected on these devices in your home should be a consideration–particularly after security company Proofpoint has discovered a botnet attack that occurred between December 23rd and January 6th. This botnet attack hijacked devices, including routers, multimedia centers, TVs and at least one refrigerator to send over 750,000 spam emails. Proofpoint reported that over 25% of the emails were sent from devices that weren’t computers or mobile devices, and it is the first known case of a refrigerator being used in a cyber attack. And to think that all this time we have been worried about cyber attacks from China, North Korea and Russia. Buyer beware: that smart appliance could be a cyber hacker.