How your internet-connected home appliances can be hacked

4 Sep

Internet security has become a hot topic in recent months with no thanks to a significant ransomware attack which targeted more than 300,000 computers across the globe. With the likes of Britain’s Health Service, US FedEx and the Deutsche Bahn rail network affected, it’s not hard to see why.

With so many devices connected to and via the internet nowadays – not just computers – internet security ought to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds. With this in mind, how safe are your internet-connected devices around your home? Have you ever considered how easily these could be hacked?

A warning from Avast

Avast, one of the world’s leading antivirus software companies have warned against the vulnerability of home appliances connected to the internet. Through recent research, they have uncovered that hackers are now targeting home internet routers, posing a major threat to homeowners and consumers.

Avast Chief Executive, Vincent Steckler, warns that once an internet connected device in your home is hacked, there’s unfortunately not much you can do with it. Once hackers have found access through this internet router, the only solution at present is to replace it.

Experts at Avast believe that internet-enabled appliances around the home pose a ‘total nightmare’ in terms of vulnerability and internet security. This is due to the fact that these devices are rarely protected by antivirus software, while homeowners fail to believe they could be a ‘soft target’.

Simple hacking, soft targets

Just some of these vulnerable home appliances include TV sets, audio systems, children’s toys and even coffee machines. In November 2016, a cyber attack was carried out on an estimated one million households across Germany, hacking into home routers hosted by Deutsche Telekom, knocking all households offline.

As such, Avast recently hosted an event to demonstrate how simple it is to hack into a household internet router and completely hi-jack an appliance.

During this demonstration, a company representative hacked into a router, changed its firmware, and managed to take control of a TV, replaying a speech by Barack Obama over and over, without control. Avast warned that even if you attempt to turn off the TV, hackers can use the router to turn it back on and hold the home appliance for ransom.

So what can be done to protect yourself?

Protect all your personal devices and Internet-connected home by antivirus software. Ensure that these antivirus software programmes are updated regularly, in other words, try not to click ‘’update later’’ as this could leave you more vulnerable than you think!

Comments are closed.