Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cyber-Physical Systems Security: Washington D.C Chamber of Commerce Thermostat Attacked

A Risks mailing list post "Internet of things" by David Magda points to a December 21, 2011 Wall Street Journal article "China Hackers Hit U.S. Chamber"

The Chamber continues to see suspicious activity, they say. A thermostat at a town house the Chamber owns on Capitol Hill at one point was communicating with an Internet address in China, they say, and, in March, a printer used by Chamber executives spontaneously started printing pages with Chinese characters.

News sources do not suggest that there is any strategic value in having a thermostat sending data to China. Perhaps once the servers were breached, other systems on the networks started sending traffic as well?

The incident does point out an obvious potential pitfall of having embedded systems on a public-facing internet.


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