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Cyberattack traced to hacked refrigerator: Researchers

Published on Jan 18, 2014 6:10 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Call it the attack of the zombie refrigerators.

Computer security researchers said this week they discovered a large "botnet" which infected Internet-connected home appliances and then delivered more than 750,000 malicious emails.

The California security firm Proofpoint, Inc., which announced its findings, said this may be the first proven "Internet of Things" based cyberattack involving "smart" appliances.

Proofpoint said hackers managed to penetrate home-networking routers, connected multi-media centers, televisions and at least one refrigerator to create a botnet - or platform to deliver malicious spam or phishing emails from a device, usually without the owner's knowledge.

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