Internet-connected televisions from which you can see any online content, home multimedia centers, or even a fridge that emails you a shopping list and lets you know which supermarkets are the cheapest… Does any of this sound familiar? These advances in technology and communications are all part of what is being called the ‘Internet of things’.
TVs, microwaves, security systems … thousands of domestic appliances are now connected to the Internet, yet unlike most computers or smartphones, they are not protected against malware attacks, spam or spyware. What’s more, the growth forecast for these kinds of devices is more than fourfold that of computers, making these new devices a key target for cyber-criminals.
The possibility of gathering information and personal data from all these new smart appliances could well lead to information leaks, in a future in which the use of such devices has become the norm.
In fact, last Christmas we witnessed the first cyber-attack combining domestic appliances and other devices such as computers or smartphones. The attack involved getting compromised devices to massively send emails. Worryingly, the cyber-criminals didn’t need to drop any Trojans on the appliances, as they are very often configured with default passwords.
Do you feel it’s necessary to protect your fridge from cyber-attacks?