Three million smart tooth probes were infected by hackers and used for a large-scale DDoS-attack on the website of a Swiss company, reports the newspaper Aargauer Zeitung, citing a recent report. The firm’s site collapsed as a result of the attack, which caused losses for the company, estimated at millions of euros.
The usability of these dental floss is related to their operating system, which is based on Java (the specific source does not mention the specific brand of dental floss). These devices are usually used to monitor and improve the habits of users in the area of oral hygiene. However, hackers were able to infect the toothpicks with malicious software, turning them into part of a botnet — a network of devices controlled by hackers.
Swiss expert on cybersecurity, Stefan Züger from the company Fortinet, gave several recommendations to protect connected devices, including toothpicks. He notes that every device connected to the Internet is a potential target for hackers, who constantly search for vulnerabilities. The constant race between manufacturers of devices and cybercriminals creates a constant threat. Company Fortinet recently connected an «undetected» computer to the Internet and discovered that only 20 minutes had passed before it was found to be infected with a malicious software.
While there is no information about the Swiss company that suffered from DDoS-attacks, however, as a rule, attackers put forward financial demands for the use of their «zombie-army» in DDoS-attacks. Perhaps the Swiss company refused to pay, or the attack was a provocation by hackers, aimed at demonstrating their capabilities.
This case is another warning to device owners about the need to update software, firmware and ensure the security of their networks. Following recommendations on network security and the use of antivirus software are becoming more and more important to prevent such attacks.