The Internet of Things now used in cyberattacks. Fear your toaster


“Honey, did you forget to update the anti-virus software on the toaster? The thermostat and garage door openers have been hacked.”

Soon our homes will be filled with net-connected gizmos, light fixtures, thermostats, refrigerators, etc., and some of them will be used to distribute malware and spam emails. Oh wait, this has already happened.

Between December 23 and January 6, more than 100,000 internet-connected smart “things,” including media players, smart televisions and at least one refrigerator, were part of a network of computers used to send 750,000 spam emails.

These so-called smart devices aren’t smart at all. Security on them ranges from non-existent to sucky. In a few years we could all have multiple devices like these in our homes. And they will all need security on them else hackers and criminals will simply use them to distribute viruses, break into home computers, and more.

Plus, we will need a Bill of Rights for the Internet of Things, and protocols for how they operate.

Your toaster wants its rights. So does your sprinkler and your shoes.

Your watch will want rights – at least if you have one of those new-fangled ones that’s also measuring your heartbeat and pinging you every time someone sends you love on Twitter.

I’m an early adopter, and don’t really get why the refrigerator needs to be connected.