Smart fridge goes rogue, helps spam 750,000 email accounts

Spam goes off in hacked smart fridge

Talking fridge

A rebellious smart fridge has been pulled up as one of 100,000 smart devices behind a malicious email cyber attack. A pair of Wi-Fi scales and a thermostat were also accused but have since been released on bail.

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

Hackers have used the networks of compromised computer 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.

It's a stark warning to those pushing the Internet of Things as a concept: when everything in your house has a chip to connect to the internet it can also be hacked.

Cool tech, not so cool flaws

Proofpoint security manager Dave Knight wrote in the blogpost that the emergence of 'thingbots' make bot-nets an even bigger security concern than before.

The security firm added that it was incredibly easy for the hackers to get access to some of the devices. Many times they did so simply because the device wasn't set up correctly or because it used the default password out of the box.

Most homes and businesses aren't yet part of the Internet of Things. When they do join in, however, it looks like hackers will be there to greet them.