“Weaponizing your coffee pot:” The risks of our connected household appliances

Professor Donna L. Hoffman

At this year’s CES, LG and Samsung showed off their “smart refrigerators” that use WiFi, apps and touch screens to purportedly make the consumer’s life easier.  Grocery lists help you keep track of when the milk will expire, apps display coupons, and even suggest recipes. The fridges look cool, but it’s hard to get that excited since the fridge isn’t smart enough to know when you are running low on something and give you a coupon to replace it – yet anyway.

But  now that the Internet of Things is really picking up steam, some are wondering whether your Internet-connected espresso maker could be hacked and turned against you. Sounds wacky? Since these devices are not always that secure, it wouldn’t be that hard to infect a household connected device with a virus and then use that device as a “man in the middle” to attack your PC…

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