Hackers are a resourceful bunch of people, and they’ll look for any weakness that can be exploited to break into a computer network.
Here’s one of the most unconventional one: a fish tank. Don’t be fooled by the looks of it, these fishes probably don’t have Wifi, but this fish tank is the house of amazement-a reasonably high-tech one that featured Internet connectivity. This high-tech system allowed the tank to be remotely monitored, automatically adjust temperature and salinity, and automate feedings.
These hackers managed to swipe 10 gigabytes of data from the North American Casino that just installed it.
How Did They Do It?
The fish tank had sensors connected to a PC that regulated the temperature, food, and cleanliness of the tank.
The offending piece of supposedly smart tech was used to regulate the water temperature of an aquarium installed in the lobby. But its internet connection – the very connection casino staff probably considered useful when installing the device – left the establishment’s servers exposed.
As soon as this Casino got to know about it, the data had already been flowing by the time. Immediately Darktrace was called in, and Once the company’s software was monitoring for the activities happening, the tank’s unusual activity was noticed immediately.
The tank’s communications with the casino’s network appeared normal enough. The data it was tapping through to the outside was highly suspectable. It was the only casino system that ever sent information to the remote server in Finland that it was communicating with. It also did so using protocols that are commonly used for streaming audio or video.
“This was a clear case of data exfiltration,” notes the Darktrace report, adding “but far more subtle than typical attempts at data theft.”
As demented as this hack might seem today, you can bet that things are only going to get more insane. Many of the connected devices for sale today are severely lacking when it comes to security.
Do we have a solution?
The problem here is obvious, and so is the solution; ‘smart’ devices like this thermostat need to meet the same security standards as a smartphone or laptop and must be treated as such by their owners.
Time and again, we hear reports of ‘smart’ devices being hacked. From new cars being stolen to even your speaker’s at home being hacked to play voices and the irony, compromising even the face recognition systems, giving us what we feared the most- “Internet-connected door locks being left open to attack.
A prelude to chaos and uncertainty!
As basic a thermostat may seem, as for being the low manufacturing cost and even a simpler design for usage, it has a vulnerability to attack the system more brutal than a smartphone.
The conclusion, it is not about simplicity that means lesser the protection, it will be likely to be connected to the internet via the same network as everything else – in this case, the casino’s customer database.