Ramblings of an old Doc


Skynet? Nope. Even worse: Spamnet: You’re doomed to live and suffer.

Now we’re getting spammed by our appliances. If you remember, back in 2011 I wrote about possible infection via networked devices like printers which get driver updates via the internet.

Now, there has been a report (Proofpoint) of 750,000 spam emails being sent from a fridge and 100,000 compromised devices, including a smart t.v. So, Philly’s question (I believe in another article) was quite relevant.

If spam emails can be sent this way, malware infection can occur (and has) this way. In fact, Proofpoint proved that they can attack routers, media PCs and smart tv sets.

The take away is that these devices have very lax to no real security, but do have processors which act like self contained web servers that have lax passwords and are poorly configured.

So, from there, let’s go a bit further…to a “smart home”. While Apple and others are doing their billion dollar deals, no one’s giving much (if any) thought to security for the devices controlling thermostats, refrigerators, stoves…etc.

“The internet of things” is a term used to define the nonhuman users of the net: printers, stoves, t.v.s, fridges, etc. There are lots of these devices and there will be more. Not hard to imagine this as your phone gets more and more apps, and baby monitors connect via Skype, there are genuine privacy concerns which were expressed at CES 2014.

If you think all this is nonsense, take a look at what LG did despite people activating privacy settings! Of course, the stock reply is “The data collected is not personal.” I bet. You know who else is doing stuff like this.

Again I caution you folks to configure your routers for maximum security and your computers as well. Encrypt the data on your computers and make backups. Configure your devices with security in mind. Change the default passwords to secure/strong ones.

Predicting the next step? Your computer AND smart appliances/smart home being held ransom.






Comments (Page 2)
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on Jan 19, 2014

How about hijacking a thread?

on Jan 19, 2014

I fail to see how I hijacked a thread. We are talking about future technology are we not? My apologies if my postings crossed a line, sorry.

on Jan 20, 2014

Please accept my apology.  I am ignorant of the boundaries for discussions on these threads. I took a post about a high tech Fridge and TV being controlled my unauthorized outside forces and extended to to lawn mowers.  The lawn mower is a Stephen Kink reference. By bad, I apologize.    

on Jan 20, 2014

The OP wasn't about future tech, rather about protecting home networks...and lax security on the part of the OEMs.

Usually I'm pretty lax about it...but when no one relates to the OP, it's a bit upsetting.

on Jan 20, 2014

Well sometimes a thread derails naturally because everything the OP was talking about has been discussed and they move on to a new subject.

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