3 million smart toothbrushes haven’t been used in a DDoS attack, but it could happen

3 minutes, 56 seconds Read


Change/Getty Images

It sounds more like science fiction than reality, but Swiss newspapers Argauer Zeitung That’s about the report Three million smart toothbrushes were stolen by hackers To launch a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. These innocuous bathroom gadgets — transformed into soldiers in a botnet army — allegedly knocked out a Swiss company for hours, causing millions of euros in damage.

Or, did they? Formulas, eg Bleeping computer And Bleeping mediaIt’s hard to find Credit this dental story. And now the security agencies FortinetWhich helped give the original story credence, admitting that mistakes were made.

In a note to ZDNET, a Fortinet representative said, “To clarify, the topic of toothbrushes being used for DDoS attacks was presented during an interview as an illustration of a given type of attack, and is not based on research by Fortinet or FortiGuard Labs. . It appears… the narrative of the matter has been stretched to the point where the imaginary and the real situation have become blurred.”

Also: Do ​​you love or fear your smart home devices? For most Americans, it’s both

The story claimed that the compromised toothbrushes were running Java, a popular language for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Once infected, a global network of infected toothbrushes is thought to launch their successful attack.

The repurposed toothbrushes are believed to have flooded Swiss websites with fake traffic, effectively knocking offline services and causing widespread disruption.

While this story wasn’t real, the episode underscores the growing threat landscape as IoT becomes increasingly embedded in our daily lives. The “smart” toothbrush is now 10 years old. Devices that once seemed innocuous and disconnected from the digital ecosystem are now potential entry points for cybercriminals. The implications are huge, not only for personal privacy and security, but also for national infrastructure and economic stability.

“Every device connected to the Internet is a potential target – or can be misused for an attack,” said Stefan Züger, director of systems engineering at Fortinet’s Swiss office.

Anyone paying close attention to cyber security has known about this threat for years. As James Clapper, the former US director of national intelligence, told us in 2016: “The device, designed and fielded Minimum security requirements and testing, and an increasing complexity of networks could lead to widespread vulnerabilities in civilian infrastructure and US government systems.”

It no longer “can’t.” We now live in homes full of unsecured IoT devices.

Also: This company says AI can help design sustainable smart home appliances

Why? As Mark Houpt, data center operator data The chief information security officer, explained, is because many IoT devices are inherently insecure for two key reasons: Negligence and lack of an interface on which to add security and hardening measures. I mean, how exactly do you control your toothbrush’s security settings? How do you add an antivirus program to your refrigerator?

you can’t

so what to be able to do you

Well, for starters, as Jugger says, you can automatically update all your devices whenever an update is available “You can’t update enough.”

Also: The best smart home devices, tested and reviewed

Also you should never charge your device in a public USB port. The same port that charges your gadget can also infect it.

I recommend paying attention if your device suddenly starts losing power faster than usual. Of course, it could just be an aging battery, but it could also be malware running in the background.

You should also be wary of public Wi-Fi connections. The same connection that lets you watch a TikTok is loading malware onto your smartphone.

While you are at home, I request you to set up a firewall on your internet connection If an attacker can’t get into your smart toilet, it can’t infect it. And, boy, isn’t a malware-infected toilet an ugly thought?

Also: The best smart TVs you can buy

Finally — and I’m serious about this — don’t buy IoT-enabled devices unless you really need to. A smart TV? Of course, how are you going to stream the Super Bowl? But a washing machine, an iron, a toothbrush? No. Just say no.

As we move into an increasingly connected future, let’s make sure our digital hygiene is as strong as our dental hygiene.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *