CIO Today

CIO Today Network Sites:   Top Tech News  |   CIO Today   |   Mobile Tech Today   |   Data Storage Today
Daily Briefing for Technology's Top Decision-Makers
Barium Ferrite (BaFe):
Higher Capacity, Superior
Performance, Longer Archival Life

www.thefutureoftape.com
Wednesday, April 23rd 
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Trending Topics:   Security Heartbleed Big Data Cloud Computing Windows XP Data Centers OS X Mavericks
Home
Enterprise Software
Enterprise Hardware
Big Data
Network Security
Cloud Computing
CRM Systems
Data Storage
Operating Systems
Communications
CIO Issues
Mobile Tech
Chips & Processors
World Wide Web
Business Briefing
After Hours
Press Releases
 
Free Newsletters
Top CIO News
 
Mobile Tech Today
 

Network Security

Security Firm Reports First Spam Attack Using a Refrigerator

Security Firm Reports First Spam Attack Using a Refrigerator
January 17, 2014 12:29PM

Bookmark and Share
David Knight of Proofpoint said devices in the Internet of Things "are poorly protected at best and consumers have virtually no way to detect or fix infections when they do occur." Businesses, he said, may find distributed attacks "increasing as more and more of these devices come on-line and attackers find additional ways to exploit them."

APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.

We now have the first evidence that the emerging Internet of Things is also the Internet of Things That Can Deliver Spam. A security firm has uncovered a global cyberattack that harnessed connected household devices, including a refrigerator.

Proofpoint Inc., based in Sunnyvale, California, said the attack utilized 100,000 consumer devices, employing them as other attacks have used captured computers -- to secretly deliver spamming e-mails numbering in the hundreds of thousands. The attack took place recently, between Dec. 23 and Jan. 6, and included in its botnet at least one smart refrigerator, as well as home-networking routers, connected multimedia centers and smart TVs.

The security company told news media that the attack "may be the first proven Internet of Things-based cyberattack involving conventional household 'smart' appliances." The attack, Proofpoint said, was sent in bursts of 100,000 e-mails three times daily, directed at companies and individuals around the globe, and over one-quarter of the spam was sent by compromised, non-computing devices.

'Poorly Protected'

No single IP address was used to send more than 10 e-mails, which made the attack's origin more difficult to locate, and the commandeering of the devices involved the relatively simple tasks of taking advantage of misconfigurations and default passwords.

David Knight, general manager of the Information Security Division at Proofpoint, said in a statement that devices in the Internet of Things "are poorly protected at best and consumers have virtually no way to detect or fix infections when they do occur." Businesses, he said, may find distributed attacks "increasing as more and more of these devices come on-line and attackers find additional ways to exploit them."

While not surprising, this new turn in malware raises a variety of questions about the addition of intelligence and connectivity to appliances and other non-computing products. If they can become "thingbots" and commandeered for nefarious purposes, will they also need the kind of anti-virus software, updates and continual vigilance that users are now required to do for their computers and mobile devices?

Application Control, ISP Vigilance

And how much additional effort and expense will it take to build and monitor a security fence around intelligent TVs, refrigerators, stoves, lighting devices in homes, connected coffee pots, smart thermostats and the like? According to some estimates, the Internet of Things already includes more than 2 billion devices, and industry research firm IDC has predicted there will be more than 200 billion connected things by 2020.

Peter Firstbrook, an analyst with Gartner, told us that "manufacturers have to get smart" about making all of these devices attack-proof, primarily by utilizing "application control, not anti-virus software," so that a connected device is built to run only specified applications and accept updates only from a single source, such as Westinghouse.

But some devices have become, essentially, computers able to run a large variety of applications, such as smart cars or connected TVs. Protection for those devices in particular, Firstbrook said, will need to happen at the network level, through a third party such as Zscaler or through an ISP, providing a continual scanning of all incoming and outgoing traffic.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



 Network Security
1. Verizon Report Exposes Cyberthreats
2. How Are Web Sites Post-Heartbleed?
3. White House Updating Privacy Policy
4. Target Hackers May Be Tough To Find
5. Heartbleed Exploit Could Cost Millions




 Most Popular Articles
1. BlackBerry Drops T-Mobile After Nasty Spat
2. Cisco, IBM Launch Internet of Things Consortium
3. Salesforce CRM Gets Industry Specific for Internet of Customers
4. Intel Bets on Cloudera for Big Data Analytics
5. SAP HANA Data Warehouse App Gets Faster Analytics

Have an informed opinion on this story?
Send a Letter to the Editor.
We want to know what you think.
Send us your Feedback.

 Related Topics  Latest News & Special Reports

  Hortonworks, Concurrent To Partner
  Microsoft, BMC Targeting VMware
  AT&T in $500M Net Video Partnership
  Verizon Report Exposes Cyberthreats
  Samsung: $2.2B Too Much for Apple

 Technology Marketplace
Business Intelligence
Get real-time, cloud-based information services with Neustar.
 
Cloud Computing
Next Generation Data Center Is Here! Vblock™ Systems from VCE
 
Contact Centers
HP delivers the future of the contact center with HP Qfiniti 10.
 
Data Storage
Next Generation Data Center Is Here! Vblock™ Systems from VCE
Barium Ferrite (BaFe) is the future of tape.
2.5" Enterprise-class SATA & SAS SSDs for server & storage applications
 
Enterprise Hardware
Barium Ferrite (BaFe) is the future of tape.
2.5" Enterprise-class SATA & SAS SSDs for server & storage applications
 
Hardware
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
 
Network Security
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
 

Network Security Spotlight
Verizon Data Breach Report Exposes Top Threats
Beyond Heartbleed, there are cyberthreats vying to take down enterprise networks, corrupt smartphones, and wreak havoc on businesses. Verizon is exposing these threats in a new report.
 
Where Do Web Sites Stand, Post-Heartbleed?
A security firm says the vast majority of Web sites have patched themselves to protect against the Heartbleed bug, but now there are questions raised on the reliability of open-source programs.
 
White House Updating Online Privacy Policy
A new Obama administration privacy policy explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites, saying much is in the public domain.
 
Navigation
CIO Today
Home/Top News | Enterprise Software | Enterprise Hardware | Big Data | Network Security | Cloud Computing | CRM Systems
Data Storage | Operating Systems | Communications | CIO Issues | Mobile Tech | Chips & Processors | World Wide Web
Business Briefing | After Hours | Press Releases
Also visit these Enterprise Technology Sites
Top Tech News | CIO Today | Mobile Tech Today | Data Storage Today

Services:
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About CIO Today Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Services for PR Pros (In partnership with NewsFactor) | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 CIO Today. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.