That only means you don’t work in hardware or software engineering. This Hacked Coffee Maker Demands Ransom and Demonstrates a Terrifying Implication About the IoT. It isn’t just that they can spy on you. They can. They do. They can do more.
So a security researcher was asked to prove that this kind of thing can be done.
After a week of tinkering, he effectively turned the coffee maker into a ransomware machine. When the user tries to connect it to their home network, it triggers the machine to turn on the burner, spew hot water, endlessly spin the bean grinder, and display a pre-programmed ransom message while beeping incessantly. The only way to get it to stop? Unplugging your now seemingly possessed coffee maker entirely.
Now why anyone needs a smart coffee maker is beyond me, especially if you see the price. And I paid quite a bit for a coffee maker that is certified by the Specialty Coffee Association. But then it is certified to make a good cup of coffee, not talk to my smartphone. And it didn’t cost $250.
So what happens when your door locks get hacked, or your car? But the main problem with the coffee maker in question is as toehold to the rest of your network.
But Hron says the implications of this kind of hack are much more concerning. Through this exploit, attackers could render a smart gadget incapable of receiving future patches to fix this weakness. He also argues that attackers could program the coffee maker or other Smarter appliances with this vulnerability to attack any device on the same network without ever raising any alarm bells. Given the years-long and even decades-long lifespan of traditional appliances, this also begs the question of how long modern IoT device vendors plan on maintaining software support, Hron points out.
The implications of how bad this can be in the long-run explain the image at the top of this post. (Click the image for a look at the fine print.)