Some hackers hacked about 3 million smart toothbrushes and launched a full-scale DDoS attack, a Swiss newspaper reported Aargauer Zeitung. An incident that seemed funny at first glance turned into a very tangible problem: a botnet paralyzed the work of a Swiss company, causing it millions of dollars in damage.
The publication did not provide many details, but it is known that the Java language, which is quite popular in the segment of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, was used to attack smart toothbrushes – having carried out the infection, the attackers launched an attack. Gadgets with modified firmware successfully achieved their goal, flooding the Swiss company’s website with bogus traffic, disabling services and causing a massive outage.
The incident highlights that with the massive deployment of the Internet of Things, the threat landscape is constantly expanding. Smart toothbrushes have been around for a decade—devices that previously seemed harmless and outside the digital ecosystem are now becoming potential entry points for cybercriminals. This could have significant consequences for the privacy and security of citizens, as well as for national infrastructure and economic stability.
Many Internet of Things devices, experts warn, are inherently unsafe due to two main reasons: a frivolous attitude towards them and the lack of an interface that would help increase security measures – in other words, a toothbrush does not have security settings, and you cannot install an antivirus on a refrigerator .
In some cases, basic digital hygiene standards will help protect you. For example, you should not charge IoT devices through public USB ports – they can be used for hacking; For the same reason, you should be wary of public Wi-Fi networks. And, perhaps, unless absolutely necessary, you can do without devices with an Internet connection. If a smart TV today is becoming as natural as a smartphone, then a washing machine, iron and toothbrush with Internet access are perhaps overkill.