Wi-Fi connected appliance was one of 100,000 smart devices that took part in attack

Hacked smart fridge used to send spam email in cyberattack

A Wi-Fi-connected refrigerator was one of 100,000 smart devices behind a malicious spam email cyberattack.

According to security firm Proofpoint, the devices, which also included smart TVs and media players, were part of a network used to send 750,000 spam emails between December 23rd and January 6th.

Hackers have used networks of compromised computers to power large-scale cyberattacks for decades, but this attack marks the first time that non-computer devices have been recorded as being used in such a manner.

“Internet-enabled devices represent an enormous threat because they are easy to penetrate, consumers have little incentive to make them more secure, the rapidly growing number of devices can send malicious content almost undetected, few vendors are taking steps to protect against this threat, and the existing security model simply won’t work to solve the problem,” explained security analyst Michael Osterman.

“Bot-nets are already a major security concern and the emergence of ‘thingbots’ may make the situation much worse,” added Proofpoint security manager Dave Knight.

Image of fridge courtesy of Shutterstock.co.uk

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