"SMART" appliances can be hacked and used by cyberFRAUDsters

Date: January 20, 2014 2:08:53 PM PST (CA)
Subject: “SMART” appliances can now be hacked and used by the “cyberspace FRAUDsters”
Cdsapi:  May the self-appointed cyberspace “policy gods” rot in hell!
And may the lemmings who follow the Pied Pipers’ lure of “expediency and convenience”,  wanting to be “always totally connected” finally wake up and discover a survival instinct that cautions them not to follow “the not-so-smart”, total surveillance, manipulating and very-easily-manipulated, totally-integrated SMART GRID.
How Stupid can SMART be?
The folly of having our lives run, controlled and monitored via cyberspace is becoming alarmingly evident.
Please don’t say that we have walked into this blind.  The warnings from those who understood the “agenda” and its dangers were readily available.  But most just didn’t want to hear it.  How eagerly have we embraced the Faustian Deal? – excitedly awaiting the next cyberspace advance!  After all, this is “progress” (isn’t it????) – and no one wants to be the “”flat-earther” who insists on standing in the way of ”progress”, and “efficiency”, and “economy”.
It is high time to rethink before we sink into the bottomless quicksand and drown in this world of cyberspace virtual reality!
We have managed to delude ourselves with the illusions that we fantasized  – but the rug is no longer big enough to sweep under it “the mountain of facts” we didn’t want see – the real, very ugly facts that we are sacrificing control over our lives to technologies of invisible external control over which we have no control, and which operate without accountability or liability. Are we giving ourselves over to a robotic world of incomprehensible vulnerability to criminal cyber-FRAUD that has no boundaries or means to control it, never knowing where the assault is coming from, who is pulling our strings and which hoops we are being forced to jump through.
Cdsapi – Citizens Demand Scientific, Academic, Political (and Media) Integrity
ONE SOLUTION: Highly recommend that anyone buying new appliances/household electronics makes sure they are not ‘smart’  2-way enabled  with embedded antennas.
If enough people refuse to buy them, perhaps this will begin to implode.
Not only is the RF component dangerous but the appliances themselves are easily hacked.  Until this recent hacking, it was thought that only the meters were vulnerable as potential portals into the entire grid. This entire approach needs to be completely re-thought and re-engineered.
Connected TVs, fridge help launch global cyberattack
By Brandon Griggs, CNN
Fri January 17, 2014 | Filed under: Gaming and Gadgets
CNN) — It’s bad enough that we have to fear identity thieves who are trying to scam us with malicious messages sent from PCs.
We now must worry about being targeted by our household appliances, as well.
An Internet-security firm has discovered what they are calling a global cyberattack launched from more than 100,000 everyday consumer gadgets such as home-networking routers, televisions and at least one “smart” refrigerator.
It’s being called possibly the first proven cyberattack to originate from connected appliances — the so-called “Internet of Things.”
Proofpoint said the attack occurred between December 23 and January 6, and featured waves of malicious e-mail targeting businesses and individuals worldwide.  In a post on the Proofpoint site, the company said the scam involved more than 750,000 e-mails from more than 100,000 appliances that had been commandeered by “thingbots,” or robotic programs that can be remotely installed on digital devices.
It was not immediately clear Friday which victims were targeted and whether the scammers were successful in collecting any personal information.
“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.  [We] may find distributed attacks increasing as more and more of these devices come online and attackers find additional ways to exploit them.”
Recent years have seen an explosion in the number of devices fitted with Internet connectivity, from eyewear to toothbrushes to refrigerators and beyond.  Earlier this week, Google paid $3.2 billion to acquire Nest, a company that makes smart home thermostats.
The International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts there will be more than 30 billion connected devices in the world by 2020.
Proofpoint’s findings suggest that just as personal computers can be unknowingly compromised and used to launch large-scale cyberattacks, so can any smart household appliance.  And poorly protected “smart” devices may be easier to infect and control than PCs, laptops or tablets.
A sophisticated hack was not needed to compromise the appliances in this attack.  Instead, the use of default passwords left the devices completely exposed on public networks, according to Proofpoint.
The company also noted that connected appliances typically aren’t protected by anti-spam or anti-virus software, nor are they routinely monitored for security breaches.

By piotrbein