No one could have imagined that read this headline, but it happened. Apparently, smart toothbrushes are the latest recruits in the arsenal of cybercriminals. Around 3 million of these everyday bathroom gadgets have been stolen and used to flood online services with traffic, making them inaccessible. An unexpected twist in Internet of Things (IoT) security was highlighted in a recent report that pointed to vulnerabilities in seemingly innocuous devices.
This unusual attack targeted the website of a Swiss company
The incident involved the manipulation of smart toothbrushes targeting a Swiss company’s website, causing it to crash for several hours and causing significant financial losses. This scenario emphasizes an important conclusion: any device that connects to the Internet can be used for malicious purposes, from a baby monitor to an electric toothbrush.
The Swiss branch of Fortinet, a cybersecurity company, was the first to sound the alarm on this issue. Fortinet’s Stefan Zuger emphasized the importance of being aware of the risks associated with internet-connected devices. His team’s experiment, which involved connecting an unsecured computer to the Internet, showed that it was compromised in just 20 minutes, illustrating the speed with which cyber threats can materialize.
The proliferation of IoT devices in homes and businesses is increasing the number of ways in which attackers can launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Devices ranging from routers and security cameras to toothbrushes can be used to disrupt online services.
To combat this threat, experts recommend keeping the software of all network-connected devices up to date with automatic security patches. Additionally, using anti-virus software and monitoring for unusual spikes in energy and data usage can help detect and prevent malware infections.