Now Your Refrigerator Can Send Spam Email

By Alex Suskind 2014-01-24 14:10:10
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Have you heard that joke about your refrigerator running? Haha, yeah, that was a good one. But you know who didn’t find it funny? Your fridge. Now it’s getting even in the most annoying way possible: by sending you spam––and I am not talking about the disgusting, gelatinous canned-meat substance you buy at the store. I am talking about the more annoying––though arguably tastier––email version of spam.

According to Proofpoint (via The Huffington Post), during the month of December, more than 100,000 consumer electronics sent around 750,000 spam emails to customers. Among the culprits: multi-media centers, televisions, and one fridge. How does something that stores food have the ability to send worthless junk to your inbox? Because we’re buying smarter gadgets, which are easier for cyber criminals to hack.

These types of gadgets have been classified as the dictionary-approved Internet of Things, a group of devices that do...Internet things independent from computers. In other words, the fridge that was emailing weight loss information and/or pornography wasn’t some dorm room mini-fridge. It was most likely a smart fridge, making it more susceptible to an outside attack.

Unfortunately, Proofpoint warns that problems like these could continue, as our gadgets become more sophisticated.

"Bot-nets are already a major security concern and the emergence of thingbots may make the situation much worse" said David Knight, General Manager of Proofpoint's Information Security division. "Many of these devices are poorly protected at best and consumers have virtually no way to detect or fix infections when they do occur.”

It looks like we’re going to have to take drastic measures. From here on out, nobody buys new appliances. We don’t want them ending up like that nightmare from Brave Little Toaster.
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