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back to article Lumpy milk and exploding yoghurt? Your fridge could be riddled with MALWARE

Antivirus guru AVG is preparing for a future where even fridges and freezers are targeted by malware, the firm's chief operating officer has said. In an interview with El Reg, John Giamatteo said AVG was keeping an open mind about where the next big malware threats were going to come from. It has already shifted its focus from …

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Bronze badge

You can only be hacked...

.. if there is some kind of computer, which is connected to a public network, controlling the fridge.

Problem solved then before it even existed.

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I've already solved this problem

Don't connect the fridge up to the internet! I'm sure we will cope.

Personally I'm more worried about a future internet connected toilet going wrong - you hear the bloody thing flushing and back firing in the middle of the night so you turn to your other half in bed and say "Bloody hackers in the toilet again!" and then have to phone "Dial-a-Rod Internet Security Services" to get the bloody thing fixed!

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Re: I've already solved this problem

Unless you happen to live in South Africa .........

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WTF?

Re: My own post earlier about bogs getting hacked!

It's already happened - I found this on BBC news *spits*

"A luxury toilet controlled by a smartphone app is vulnerable to attack, according to security experts."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23575249

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WTF?

Re: I've already solved this problem

> Personally I'm more worried about a future internet connected toilet going wrong

It's already happened! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23575249

"A luxury toilet controlled by a smartphone app is vulnerable to attack, according to security experts."

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Anonymous Coward

AVG is going nowehere NEAR anything I own

Along with McAfee

Both seem like nasty malware peddling trolls; The bloody AVG toolbar and McAfee Scammer ^h^h^h^h^n^n^n Scanner distributed as a pre-approved installation piggy backed as a totally irrelevant and unnecessary "add on" with other people's software - I thought antivirus was to stop crap, not actually be part of it.

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Alien

Can someone please explain WHY I'd connect my fridge?

or any other appliance for that matter even indirectly to the internet.

I know that lots of things are possible but why should I do this?

Why would I want to do this?

Isn't connecting your appliances just an open invite for hackers?

What is going to persuade me (as a registered 'Grumpy Old Man') that I should do this?

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Re: Can someone please explain WHY I'd connect my fridge?

Because, one day, CaaS ( Cold as a Service ) will only be available through connected hardware?

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Re: Can someone please explain WHY I'd connect my fridge?

Indeed. Some things are fairly low tech and work well. Fridges are one of those things. OK there can be innovations (self-defrosting for instance) but really a fridge is just a cupboard that keeps things cold and I don't want it to be any more or any less than that. I can tell when I am running low on milk by opening the door and looking at the milk bottle. I can tell when the lettuce is on the turn because it starts going brown at the edges. I don't need a fridge to figure those things out for me. Not now and not ever.

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Re: Can someone please explain WHY I'd connect my fridge?

Steve Davies,

Why would you connect your fridge to the internet? Simply, to avoid exploding yoghurts. In case the fridge dies it can itself contact maintenance. Clever, isn't it?

Seriously, I wouldn't want that. The question though is whether in the future you'll still be able to get appliances that don't call home. Although for heating, boiler and ventilation I'd like to have a interface to control them remotely, i.e. switch on before returning home.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Can someone please explain WHY I'd connect my fridge?

cos we used to be able to think and its seems we cant.

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Big Brother

Re: Can someone please explain WHY I'd connect my fridge?

Because some day the Departments of Civic Nutrition and Environmental Compliance will only issue you your ration cards if they can verify electronically that your fridge is being properly maintained and using your energy allocation correctly, and that the contents of said fridge meet both nutritional and population pacification additive guidelines....

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Windows

Re: Can someone please explain WHY I'd connect my fridge?

The NSA needs a way get into your fridge to collect data to prevent terrorism

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Re: Can someone please explain WHY I'd connect my fridge?

You'll be able to get one that doesn't phone home in future because, unless the manufacturer wants to supply mobile internet subscriptions for free with their product, it cannot just connect to the local network.

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Bronze badge

Tin foil hat time

@LinofHyRule "Don't connect the fridge up to the internet!"

That's assuming that you get a choice; what if they are made so that they will not work until they are connected to the Internet? (A whole new industry in cracking the controllers, much the same as gaming consoles I imagine)

The real reason that the manufacturers want to do this is simply because they can then capture data on what you buy, how long you store it, restock etc and make use of this to work out what you might be persauded to buy. All of this information can be collated and then (most importantly) sold to those that would be able to make use of it to target their marketing at you.

I could imagine the supermarket chains making use of this - "Magister, you've nearly run out of cheese; we have a special deal on <brand> this week; shall we add 2 x 350g to an order for you? While we're at it, you could probably use some crispbreads; just 99p. We also have that organic fig relish you upvoted on the Facebook web page: only £2.99. This can be delivered to you this evening between 7.00 and 8.00 pm; please click here to accept."

Be under no illusion; you are just a consumer within a target demographic. If you dislike the current sales tactics, you are going to hate the brave new marketing world.

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Re: Tin foil hat time

Magister, I think you have hit the nail on the head! Unfortunately that means we can look forward to every household appliance being connected and providing FMCG with our data, (Never mind the NSA using Terrorist detection software based on your Supermarket purchasing habits).

The possibilities for the invasion of our privacy in the name of consumerism are endless

. Vacuum twice a day? 'Buy one of our robot cleaners'

Washing machine only doing nappies and baby clothes (which will be tagged and detectable) 'Rent one of our nannybots' etc etc.

luckily I live in a country where IT is only used for texting and gaming and TV ads are still at the level of the sixties so I am not too worried about being targeted by my fridge just yet.

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Happy

Re: Tin foil hat time

I already shop online so Tesco already know how much milk I drink. The online fridge is a totally stupid idea. I could argue why but I cant really be bothered, well okay a little then. It will have to be made law to connect fridges to the net for any of these crazy schemes that companies and spy agencies might have to actually work. But what are you going to do if people dont comply - lock them up for not connecting their crappy BEKO to their router! hahaha

Silly idea that comes up every few months for the past 15-20 years this one. Some old houses still have their larders, I guess people who don't have a fridge will be terrorists!

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Re: Tin foil hat time

Also, an internet connected fridge could display up-to-date cooking recipes based upon (what it thinks is) the contents of your fridge - either because the fridge is designed so that certain food items sit in specific spots with pressure sensors and/or because it has kept a record of the food you have ordered on-line e.g. by sensing milk, eggs and cheese, and by knowing that you recently ordered some Stilton it shows you a recipe for a Stilton omelette.

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Thumb Down

Re: Tin foil hat time

Tesco only know how much milk you drink if they are your sole supplier of bovine excretions. Is going outside to the shops really so hard?

Note that Sainsburys has so far failed to notice that my habitual purchase of FairTrade instant coffee has ceased (in favour of the Co-op's excellent range). Similarly I now buy no marmalade or jam from them after discovering how good the Co-op's versions are (higher fruit content).

They keep giving us vouchers for dog treats though we only occasionally look after a friend's hound. But that my allegiance over several products has moved has seemingly not been noticed.

Your faith about the level of their analysis is thus misplaced in my experience.

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Re: Tin foil hat time

Oh fine, provided you keep your eggs in the fridge so it knows about them. Or do you only make recipes from fridge ingredients? My cooking tends to require storecupboard ingredients and at the moment how will my fridge now which of the herbs in my garden are harvestable?

Though thinking about it that might be why I forgot to put the walnuts in last night's salad (not a Waldorf). But then it did have fresh herbs from the garden in it too, and I don't keep carrots in the fridge. Can you imagine the faff of having to swipe the barcode and reweigh everything you ever use?

I just keep my iPod Touch handy for building a shopping list on. It's slightly more convenient and flexible than pen and paper we used to keep in the kitchen for that purpose.

Which reminds me, I need to add icing sugar. My wife is apparently offended by having golden icing sugar dusted over her raspberries.

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Re: Tin foil hat time

Or, you could learn to cook. One very useful life skill is being able to examine whatever bits are sitting in your fridge, knowing what you have lurking in the back of a cupboard or in the freezer, and being able to say "hmm, I could make some kind of pasta sauce from that". I don't need a fridge to tell me that if I just nip out to Tesmorasburys I could buy some more stuff that would go well with a few of the things I have left in there.

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Silver badge
Happy

Re: Milk from the shops

Actually it is quite hard - milk is pretty heavy for me to carry (I love it, I get through a fair bit!) and the shops are twenty minuets walk away and I don't have a car. There is a milk bloke I hear tinkering about in the middle of the night but he's a bit pricey - probably because he doesn't screw farmers! Then again, he might do, its totally his business what he gets up to in bed (or the cowshed!)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Milk from the shops

Twenty MINUETS? Ha-ha

Seriously, if a few pints of milk are heavy then may I humbly suggest that you invest in one of those shopping trolleys that you see being used by old women (mostly). The have wheels so that you don't have to carry all that really heavy milk home.

I have one but my excuse is that I have chronic PMR (http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/facts/polymyalgia.htm) and carrying anything for any distance is a real No-No.

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Re: Milk from the shops

I will stick to online thank you. Unless the government filter out buying milk online because it comes out of breasts so it's deemed to be pornography! No doubt I will be marked down by GCHQ as a lactation fetishist into bestiality!

I've done the trolley business, it made me feel old (not that I have anything against that) but I'm only in my twenties, I felt a bit uncool to be honest! I would love an electric wheelchair they are awesome but I'm not disabled enough. A friend of mine has let me have a go on his mobility scooter in the past and it reminded me of the dodgems but it is still not as cool as a powered wheelchair! And why are mobility scooters always painted that horrid burgundy colour?

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Joke

Re: Milk from the shops

if it is 20 minuets that must be tiring. How about doing faster like a waltz or mazurka instead?

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Joke

Re: Milk from the shops

Why are my milk buying habits such a big story on here today!

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Re: Milk from the shops

Shopping trolleys are like 1963 Daleks, useless on stairs.

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Joke

Re: Milk from the shops

I need to urgently point something out - it was more of a rucksck on wheels - think bloody students going home on a packed Cross Country train type luggage, as aposed to an old granny shopper! I just need to clear that up, my reputation is at stake here!

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Anonymous Coward

Solution. Don't allow your fridge to be connected to the internet. The only people who want you to is the marketing people.

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Silly fancy fridges

The most interesting thing about this article is the link the 2000 pages that originally mention it. I had a lovely click around the news of the time (Dell made an mp3 player, apparently).

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Windows

Re: Silly fancy fridges

Yes, these were the times when we discussed Yeltsin, the War on Chechnya, how many Clinton Generals made medals doing liberal intervention in Yugoslavia, the size of the hand of O.J. Simpson, Ramen Worm attacks, what was found on Monica's dress, The Matrix, the Alpha Processor, whether Windows 2000 was worth it, and I don't know what else.

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Gold badge
Unhappy

But it's the *future*

A bright new world, the Internet of Things. (TM).

Enabling and empowering home owners to tell their house how they want it to be from wherever in the world.

And..

And..

Ah bo**ocks. You're right. It's a s**t idea and the only people with any desire to do this are a)Appliance mfg, like those "smart" TVs all those people went out to (not) buy b)Marketing types expecting to micro-profile you demographically even further, enabling them to answer such eternal questions as "Do left handed lesbians buy more cucumbers than right handed lesbians, and how can we appeal to the right handed lesbian demographic if they do" c)Chip makers figuring they'll either need some new types for this or more sales of the old stuff.

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Gimp

Re: But it's the *future*

The cucumbers I get swing both ways - I'm not complaining!

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Re: But it's the *future*

Quite. "The Internet of Things" [tm] is a load of bollocks... but then again so is the actual phrase "the internet of things".

I mean, seriously, couldn't someone have come up with a better term than "things" for this rubbish? Here's a clue for whoever started that silly term off: A computer - something we already connect to the internet - is as much a "thing" as a fridge is, a mobile phone - also something we commonly connect to the internet - is as much a "thing" as a washing machine, and so on - so the internet is already an "internet of things" and has been since the dawn of its bloody existence.

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Silver badge

Just better hope the fridge doesn't have Bluetooth as well

Luxury toilet users warned of hardware flaw:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23575249

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Facepalm

Re: Just better hope the fridge doesn't have Bluetooth as well

You beat me to it!

i really must remember to check the thread to avoid saying things other have already said!

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If the CPU in your fridge has to service AVG, will it have time to check if the temperature is correct or that the compressor is even running? Sounds like you're going to have lumpy yogurt one way or another.

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Silver badge

Yes, let's connect our refrigerators to the internet....

Progress measured in how long it takes a black hat to take over my ice dispenser!

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Bronze badge

We know what you eat

Or at least what is in your fridge.

Think Elf and Safety and the way they like to control all our lives, apparently for our own benefit.

Now think RFD tags on all food with a code to tell sell by dates, cholesterol, saturated fats, blah blah ,blah.

Now you have a way for some one to not only use your info for demographic purposes but also to interfere with your right to poison your self with full fat milk and salty butter, it could even make you ineligible for a heart bypass if your medical insurance company had access.

Online fridges and larders amongst other things are not stupid they are just another part of the surveillance society that will protect you from yourself .

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Bronze badge

I'm still clinging to hope for a singing Toaster myself...

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Mushroom

The Java kitchen

I remember when the Java kitchen was a joke.

http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/99/May/jini.html

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