Friday, January 17, 2014

Thingbot: If the refrigerator is used for spam spreader - TIME ONLINE

A U.S. security firm has unmasked a botnet. The special feature: not only computers were infected, but also other web-enabled devices – such as a refrigerator.

U.S. security company Proofpoint has uncovered claims to a botnet, which also included Internet-enabled home appliances. It was the first cyber attack on the Internet of Things, explains the Californian company.

The attack was between 23 December 2013 and the 6th Been carried out in January 2014. About the network are daily in three waves spam mails been sent. What was new on the attack, that the perpetrator had not only infected computers and mobile devices with their malicious software.


The botnet was about 25 per cent from other Internet-enabled devices. Among them were a router for home networks, multimedia center with Internet access, televisions and even a refrigerator. Thingbots called Proofpoint these devices – according to the Internet of Things (Internet of Things)


On most of these devices is an outdated software installed with known vulnerabilities, said David Knight Proofpoint. The machines are also secured only by default passwords.

If an Internet-enabled appliance would become infected and abused about the transmission of spam, it is quite possible that there could no longer be used for its normal functions. Unlike computers, there is little opportunity for these devices to determine whether they were infected with malicious software, Knight said.

It is the first known attack of this kind, but certainly not the last, Proofpoint is convinced. More and more devices become Internet-capable: kitchen appliances, cameras and televisions, also all possible functions in the context of home automation such as electricity meter or the heating controller. In the coming years their number will increase dramatically. Experts estimate that by 2020 more than 200 billion such devices will be connected to the Internet.



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