Hackers are using FRIDGES to send out malicious emails.
Refrigerators were amongst the web-connected appliances used by criminal gangs to send out 750,000 emails between December 23 and January 6 as part of a massive data theft operation.
California security firm Proofpoint observed and profiled the attack and believed that the devices were used due to poor anti-hacking protection.
It said that the attack, which involved non conventional computer smart technology equipment including at least one refrigerator, may be the first reported incident of its kind.
It discovered that more than 25% of the ‘bot-net’ mail came from items not classed as non conventional computers and thinks that low levels of security made the objects ideal for hackers to launch waves of web-based attacks.
The firm also said that hifi systems and routers were also affected in the latest incident and that their use could represent the start of a growth in using the smart objects to commit attacks as they become more popular in homes.
General manager of Proofpoint’s Information Security division, David Knight said: “Bot-nets are already a major security concern and the emergence of ‘thingbots’ may make the situation much worse.
“Many of these devices are poorly protected at best and consumers have virtually no way to detect or fix infections when they do occur.
“Enterprises may find distributed attacks increasing as more and more of these devices come on-line and attackers find additional ways to exploit them.”
Samsung and LG are amongst some of the companies who currently sell smart fridges which remind owners when purchases are needed and when products expire.
According to internet security firm Kaspersky, hackers steal data via emails by attaching a corrupted PDF or Word document to gain access into your system and search for valuable data such as spreadsheets, documents and financial information.