The Null Device

The Trojan clothes iron

What happens when computers get cheap enough to be effectively disposable? Well, criminals start embedding penetration servers into dumb electrical goods like irons and kettles. The low-powered machines (which could consist of an exotic embedded OS running on something tiny, though these days, it could just as easily be a Linux distribution running on an ARM or MIPS system-on-a-chip, kitted out with standard Linux hax0r tools) then attempt to connect to any machines within range by WiFi or Bluetooth, find security holes and take them over. Which is the sort of thing you'd expect first-tier intelligence agencies to attempt to try on high-value targets, but it now seems to be in the hands of ordinary criminals.

There are 1 comments on "The Trojan clothes iron":

Posted by: acb Sat Nov 2 08:59:24 2013

I was thinking though: what if it's not just criminal hacking bots but something else? Do the authorities know what the seized computer chips are meant to do? What if some agency with more sophisticated goals than viruses and botnets started putting tiny wireless servers in kettles and toasters, programmed to seek a quorum and form a mesh network using low-power, unregulated networking. To what ends (intelligence agencies jumping airgaps? Disruptive Randian entrepreneurs shaking up the telco market? The Illuminati/Knights Templar/whoever? Aliens?) is unclear and/or up to the author of the story this ends up.

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