Smart TVs and Refrigerators Become Hackers’ New Play Toys

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In the era of technological obsolescence, adoption of technologically advanced devices has acknowledged an incredible boost. The smart technology has replaced preceding devices – making them obsolete for the use. This process however did not end as smart technology embraced appliances we use. So, we acknowledged the inception of Smart TVs and then Smart Refrigerators.

Sounds silly! Not to the tech-savvy community – I guess. These Smart appliances unlike preceding mechanisms have taken all the basic functions to a whole new level. Most of you might prefer Smart Appliances over the one with conventional functionality because of its advanced features or just to show-off. Or maybe we need everything that is Internet-enabled today.

Fridge Hacking

Anyways, we are not here to critique the adoption of technologically advanced devices and appliance; but, to inform you about the risks and threats associated. Now, think about it for a moment. Smart TVs and Refrigerators have become the new play toys for hackers today. Perhaps, hackers today think the same as we do – don’t do something that is too mainstream.

Some of you might think of it as a joke. Some might ridicule this fact or maybe stop reading this post farther. But, ignorance often leads to catastrophic outcomes as hackers won’t hesitate to exploit any device, tool or gadget to assault your privacy and security. In fact, you shouldn’t always worry about being a target; because, you sometimes serve the purpose as an intermediary.

As per the recent concerns acknowledged, the hackers have started to target Smart Appliances to comprise Spambots. A Spambot is a computer program which facilitates an automated process of sending/spreading the spam via divergent methods such as fake accounts. From 26th of December, 2013 to 6th of January, 2014, there were more than 750,000 spam emails sent via 100,000+ victimized routers, multimedia and Smart devices including TVs and Refrigerators.

Some of you might be thinking that it’s ‘NO BIG DEAL’ – think again. Remember the time you first connected your device with the Internet. It surely seemed a blessing at that time – right? Now, count the threats you encounter because of that blessing. You receive the daily dose of victimization from hackers, spammers, phishers and identity thieves. Your online activities are monitored and supervised by not only NSA but even your ISP. And you can’t even quit using it now because you have become addicted. Like I said – think again.

Hackers can manipulate your Smart Appliances for either direct or indirect attacks. People who use their Smart TVs for socializing and teleconferencing need to take care of their privacy a bit more. Let me give you a little heads up here. Your privacy is not always threatened by hackers and identity thieves; NSA is also using divergent methods to monitor your online activities.

Furthermore, several corporate giants have been allegedly working with NSA to monitor your online activities. Are you sure your Smart TV or Refrigerator for that matter wasn’t manufactured or distributed by one of them? Do you still want to laugh over it? I think not.

As compared to other Smart devices such as cell phones, Smart appliances are much more vulnerable to security and privacy threats. Confused? Let me explain. If you ask someone – which Smartphone are you currently using? What do you think they are going to say? iPhone, Motorola, Sony, HTC or any other brand they may say. Now ask them about the software – Android and iOS would probably be the usually received answers.

Smart Appliances

You all might agree that software update for Android or iOS strengthens your device’s security. Now ask this question from someone who uses a Smart TV or Refrigerator. He will not be able to answer it. In fact, he won’t even know about the software supporting his Smart appliance. Guess the chances for the security updates you will receive for your Smart appliances. In fact, think about the reliability of the source presenting an update.

Are you sure that manufactures like Samsung, LG and even Sony would monitor the exploits that may come to haunt your Smart appliance. Are you sure that they will furnish you with security updates and patches for the built-in software in order to keep you secure from the potential privacy and security risks. I think not.

 

Hackers are not complacent; why are you? Addicted to Smart devices? It is time to think Smart. The optimal remedy to cope with these concerns is to expect similar security level for your Smart TVs and Refrigerators as you do for your Smartphones or laptops for that matter.

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Arsalan Jabbar

Arsalan Jabbar

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Arsalan Jabbar's Biography :


Arsalan Jabbar is a tech-research enthusiast who wants to explore technological obsolescence and its influence. With a little spice of wit in his writing style, Arsalan fanatically researches contemporary discoveries in the IT industry and critiques their significance in his own special way. Arsalan’s hypotheses are always reflected through in-depth scrutiny and valid notions.


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