Do you have a zombie refrigerator?

zombie fridge

A fridge has been discovered sending out spam after a web attack managed to compromise smart gadgets…The fridge was one of more than 100,000 devices used to take part in the spam campaign.

Uncovered by security firm Proofpoint the attack compromised computers, home routers, media PCs and smart TV sets.

The attack is believed to be one of the first to exploit the lax security on devices that are part of the “internet of things”.

The spam attack took place between 23 December 2013 and 6 January this year, said Proofpoint… In total, it said, about 750,000 messages were sent as part of the junk mail campaign. The emails were routed through the compromised gadgets.

About 25% of the messages seen by Proofpoint researchers did not pass through laptops, desktops or smartphones, it said…instead, the malware managed to get itself installed on other smart devices such as kitchen appliances, the home media systems on which people store copied DVDs and web-connected televisions…

The results spoke for themselves when the addresses responded with explicit identification, including well-known, often graphically branded interfaces, file structures, and content,” David Knight told the BBC.

Mr Knight speculated that the malware that allowed spam to be sent from these devices was able to install itself because many of the gadgets were poorly configured or used default passwords that left them exposed.

Hilarious. Manufacturers of many of these devices are firms already part of geek technology. They’re run by people who should know better and either don’t care or simply presume criminal hackers are dumber than they are.

Many of these devices are unable to be user-updated – you have to rely upon the good intentions, sensible action taken by manufacturers. I’m not holding my breath waiting for that to happen, soon.

My household wifi systems route to the Internet via a pretty good firewall. My smart devices – including TV – are protected with NSA-level passwords and that’s about as far as I can take self-defense at the moment. Core responsibility lies with designers building-in appropriate barriers to script kiddies and their thug cousins – or they will begin to lose sales to manufacturers who will.

Cybercrime firm uncovers six more attacks on U.S. chainstores


BlackPOS reported, last March

A cybercrime firm says it has uncovered at least six ongoing attacks at U.S. merchants whose credit card processing systems are infected with the same type of malicious software used to steal data from Target.

Andrew Komarov, chief executive of the cybersecurity firm IntelCrawler, told Reuters that his company has alerted law enforcement, Visa and intelligence teams at several large banks about the findings. He said payment card data was stolen in the attacks, though he didn’t know how much…

On Thursday, the U.S. government and the private security intelligence firm iSIGHT Partners warned merchants and financial services firms that the BlackPOS software used against No. 3 U.S. retailer Target had been used in a string of other breaches at retailers – but did not say how many or identify the victims.

Credit card companies, banks and retailers say that victims of any fraud resulting from the theft of their payment card data bear “zero liability” and will be credited for fraudulent purchases made on their accounts.

“Our rules say five days, but most consumers get (their money) back within 24 hours,” Visa spokeswoman Rosetta Jones said…

Komarov, an expert on cybercrime who has helped law enforcement investigate previous attacks, told Reuters on Friday that retailers in California and New York were among those compromised by BlackPOS…

Komarov said he has not directly contacted those merchants. Security experts typically report cybercrimes through law enforcement rather than going directly to victims because the process can be time-consuming and victims are often suspicious when they first learn of attacks.

BlackPOS was developed by a hacker whose nickname is “Ree4” and who is now about 17 years old and living in St. Petersburg, Russia, according to Los Angeles-based IntelCrawler.

The teenager sold the malicious software to cybercriminals who then launched attacks on merchants, said Komarov, who has been monitoring Ree4’s activities since March.

Komarov declined to specifically identify the sources of his intelligence, though he said he has been monitoring criminal forums where Ree4 sells his software and posted an excerpt of a chat with a client on the IntelCrawler website…

Officials with the Secret Service could not immediately be reached for comment.

If you’re of the geek persuasion, RTFA for details of the hack. Interesting stuff.

Once again, defeating Windows Security seems to be profitable for criminals.