Story image

Hackers target your fridge and TV

17 Jan 14

Who wouldn't want a smart fridge? You can check how much milk is left while you're out and if your cheese is going mouldy. You could even tweet from the panel if you phone or tablet is dead.

There are also plenty of good reasons to not purchase these items, especially until security around the 'Internet of Things' is tightened.

Hackers are already trying to crack smartphones in the hope it will lead them onto other connected devices, as first reported by Proofpoint. Between December 26 and January 6 the company detected over 750,000 spam emails being sent from over 100,000 routers, smart TV's and one from a smart fridge.

Not such a big problem at the moment, but as each device enters our homes and is internet enabled, it is another point of attack for those unsightly hackers. Every smart TV has another microphone and camera to access and expose your living room and privacy.

If you asked your regular consumer what specifications and operating system their Smart TV or Fridge was operating there's a big chance they wouldn't know and the same probably goes for when they last updated these devices.

Smartphones, laptops and consoles are connected and supported for the life of ownership with system and security updates as well as running on tightly monitored networks. However people tend to keep TV's and fridges slightly longer, so take into consideration how long these devices will be supported by manufacturers or will it run out when your extended warranty expires. Throw into the mix the amount of manufacturers and brands there are, now it almost becomes impossible to guarantee security.

The 'smart' revolution is an exciting time for technological advances, but people should be careful and expect the same level of security that they would when they purchase a laptop. Without manufacturers providing security for the life of each smart product we may see more spam emails being sent from fridges in the not so distant future.

Royole's FlexPai: So bendable phablets are a reality now
A US-based firm called Royole is delivering on that age-old problem of not being able to fold up your devices (who hasn't ever wished they could fold their phone up...)
Hands-on review: Having fun in Knowledge is Power: Decades and Chimparty
They don’t revolutionise social video gaming, but they are enjoyable enough to occupy you during a wet weekend. 
Kiwis losing $24.7mil to scam calls every year
The losses are almost five times higher compared to the same period last year, from reported losses alone.
Tile's Mate & Pro Bluetooth trackers land in NZ
If your car keys (or your tablet) have disappeared into the void at the back of the couch or if you left them somewhere in your car, retracing your steps to find them could be a thing of the past.
Government still stuck in the past? Not on GovTech's watch
What exactly is GovTech and what’s been happening in our capital city?
"Is this for real?" The reality of fraud against New Zealanders
Is this for real? More often than not these days it can be hard to tell, and it’s okay to be a bit suspicious, especially when it comes to fraud.
Hands-on review: The iPhone Xs
The iPhone Xs is a win that brought numerous new and exciting features to the market.
How much does your Amazon Prime Video subscription really get you?
For our NZ$8.90 per month, the average cost per title is US$0.00126 - but we only really get a choice of 416 TV shows and 4321 movies. Choice is a little bit limited compared to other countries.