The Internet of Appliances: Hackers User Smart Fridge in Cyberattack
According to Proofpoint cyberattacks can be implemented on smart appliances – such as refrigerator.
As smart appliances integrate Americans into the Internet of Things (IoT), those devices are vulnerable to hackers how can compromise networks that are connected to routers, televisions and the fridge.
This fridge sent out hundreds of thousands of spam emails.
Proofpoint stated that their “findings reveal that cyber criminals have begun to commandeer home routers, smart appliances and other components of the Internet of Things and transform them into ‘thingbots’ to carry out the same type of malicious activity. Cyber criminals intent on stealing individual identities and infiltrating enterprise IT systems have found a target-rich environment in these poorly protected internet connected devices that may be more attractive and easier to infect and control than PC, laptops, or tablets.”
Surprisingly, the breach was easy to achieve as default passwords can be embedded in devices and dissected without difficulty.
IoT devices have “no way to detect or fix infections when they do occur.”
Appliances that fall into this category include:
• Smart meters
• Security cameras
• Smart TVs
• Wireless speakers
• Robotic devices
David Knight, general manager of information security at Proofpoint said : “People should be concerned because unlike PCs and laptops where there are tools and user interfaces where you can tell if something is wrong, there’s not a lot to help you tell if your fridge or home audio system has been compromised.”
Having the proverbial “admin [password]” as a login could enable hackers to turn a refrigerator into a malicious machine that sends out terrible emails to victims which leads to the ability to use any device entangled with the internet as a weapon.
If the AllSeen Alliance (ASA) has it their way, all of our home appliances, cars and computers will be speaking to each other because of open source frame working that has become the cornerstone of consumer electronics.
This software framework was developed by Qualcomm under project AllJoyn which was intended to connect and interact with systems regardless of whether or not the manufacturer installed an operating system in the unit.
Supporters of the ASA are:
• Linux Foundation
• LG Electronics
The ASA have a project called IoE that is “an open, universal development framework supported by a vibrant ecosystem and thriving technical community.”
The concept of IoE “is based on the idea that devices, objects and systems can be connected in simple, transparent ways to enable seamless sharing of information across all of them. As no single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the Internet of Everything and address every day, real-life scenarios, a cross-industry effort is needed to deliver new experiences to consumers and businesses.”
The shared framework would link your car to your coffeemaker and your cellphone to make these devices interoperable and communicative; regardless of whether to not the manufacturer intended this to be true.
Navetas , a UK start-up, is working on a new smart meter that will track energy use by distinguishing between a television, refrigerator and other household appliances.
Called energy disaggregation, the computer algorithms learn how much power each appliance in a home uses and how often it is used.
This information can be sent to a smartphone and to the utilities corporation.