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It's not only hacked computers that send spam these days. Apparently TVs, wi-fi routers, and at least one fridge have been caught doing it! One such botnet involved 750,000 emails ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    The Internet of Things becomes the Internet of spambots!


    It's not only hacked computers that send spam these days. Apparently TVs, wi-fi routers, and at least one fridge have been caught doing it! One such botnet involved 750,000 emails sent from 100,000 gadgets.

    I am curious to know what kind of OS these things use. I was under the impression that most embedded systems use some form of Linux, but that doesn't square with what I've been reading.
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    Linux Newbie slw210's Avatar
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    Do you have a link to the article?

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    I think there's quite a few devices running proprietary OS - National Instruments has RIO and Texas Instruments has RTOS; WinCE is out there as well as Android and Linux. Java Embedded runs on Linux but I suppose could be considered a unique flavour since it is a virtual machine.

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    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    I think I'm washing my clothes right now on a Linux programmed Washing machine.

    say the CPU in your car or washing machine)
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    We have one of those fancy digital front loaders with no mechanical buttons

    http://www.wdcappliances.com/_img_ap...XAJSUTGDCQ.JPG

    Now ya got me wondering if my washer is spamming me Hazel.
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  5. #5
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slw210 View Post
    Do you have a link to the article?
    I got it off a daily newspaper but here's an online article with the same info.
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregm View Post
    I think there's quite a few devices running proprietary OS
    The problem is not embedded proprietary OS's, the problem is embedded Linux - mostly running on domestic routers. There is a multitude of these devices out there, probably running early 2.6.x kernels with known vulnerabilities, which the vendor will not support or provide security updates for. This is the true face of the relationship between proprietary hardware/software vendors and GNU/Linux - they will for the most part take what they want in order to sell their products and give little to nothing back.

  7. #7
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Here's a link to an Ars Technica article that queries the whole story. It's interesting to get the other side.

    What flunwyc said fits in with what other people are saying too; the problem is obsolete versions of Linux. I'm beginning to wonder about my adsl router. I'm pretty sure it runs Linux but there isn't any way to log into it and update it. You can only talk to these things over a web interface.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazel View Post
    I'm beginning to wonder about my adsl router
    You're not the only one... I "decomissioned" my old linksys some time ago because I knew it would be vulnerable. Now using a thomson and quite honestly not sure about that one either.

    Quote Originally Posted by hazel View Post
    I'm pretty sure it runs Linux but there isn't any way to log into it and update it. You can only talk to these things over a web interface.
    You might want to see if there is open/third party firmware available. But ensure you research it well as it's very easy to brick the things...

    The safest option is to use a DSL modem, then set up a box as a dedicated router with your wireless AP - that's the only way to be sure you always have security updates.

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    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
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    My current router is running openwrt which I think makes it more secure than most. If you go for it make sure you have a spare... as has been said it is very easy to brick one. I did that to my Netgear the first time I tried it and for a short while I had to use my ISP provided router which I never trusted entirely.

    I am starting to think about using my Pi as a router / firewall and getting a separate modem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by elija View Post
    My current router is running openwrt which I think makes it more secure than most. If you go for it make sure you have a spare... as has been said it is very easy to brick one. I did that to my Netgear the first time I tried it and for a short while I had to use my ISP provided router which I never trusted entirely.

    I am starting to think about using my Pi as a router / firewall and getting a separate modem.
    I set up a wireless bridge using an older linksys and DD-WRT firmware. I thought I hooped the thing but after some effort got it going and it's been running beautifully ever since. DD-WRT and OpenWRT are merging in some way I think. Anyway, a great product and a fun way to repurpose older gear.

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