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Casino hacked through thermostat of a fish tank

The Internet of Things is dangerous. I recommend staying away from it. These devices are being commandeered by miscreants and used to attack others, send out spam or even mine for cyber currency. They are also being used to infiltrate office and home networks, and even to take command of cars which didn't completely separate their entertainment system from their control system. At a very minimum, connect these devices to a separate guest network. That includes your streaming devices.

I found this attack particularly interesting. The thermostat, controlling the fish tank in the lobby, alerted the manager if the temperature got out of range. It was vulnerable and gave hackers a foothold which they used to breach the company network. They grabbed the high-roller database and sent it back out through the thermostat.

If you do get one of these devices, check and make sure the company does regular security updates. Ask them how often they update their firmware and how that is handled. If they get a confused look, or babble on about how secure and safe they are, find another product.

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Date: June 2018

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