Skip to main content

Hackers broke into a casino’s high-roller database through a fish tank

In an anecdote that illustrates how our increasing reliance on the Internet of Things (IoT) has compromised the security of confidential information, a cybersecurity executive revealed how a high-roller database of gamblers was accessed by hackers — through a thermometer in an aquarium in the lobby of the casino.

According to Business Insider, Darktrace CEO Nicole Eagan told attendees at an event in London how cybercriminals exploited a vulnerability in a connected thermostat in the unnamed casino. “The attackers used that to get a foothold in the network,” she explained. “They then found the high-roller database and then pulled that back across the network, out the thermostat, and up to the cloud.”

With so many connected devices in our houses, we rarely consider the security flaws that might be present in each individual unit. “There’s a lot of internet of things devices, everything from thermostats, refrigeration systems, HVAC [air conditioning] systems, to people who bring in their Alexa devices into the offices,” said Eagan. “There’s just a lot of IoT. It expands the attack surface and most of this isn’t covered by traditional defenses.”

Israeli researchers recently tested some off-the-shelf smart home devices and found that they were able to access most of them by simply using default factory passwords. Some phone applications designed to monitor household appliances have likewise been found to contain serious security flaws. Your robot vacuum could even be giving hackers a guided tour of your home using their on-board cameras.

The former head of the British government’s digital spying agency, Robert Hannigan, said governmental oversight is probably needed. “It’s probably one area where there’ll likely need to be regulation for minimum security standards because the market isn’t going to correct itself,” he said. “The problem is these devices still work. The fish tank or the CCTV camera still work.”

It’s probably safe to say you won’t be attacked by your robot lawnmower any time soon, but the proliferation of cheap unregulated IoT gizmos means cybersecurity firms are responding to new threats every week. “With the internet of things producing thousands of new devices shoved onto the internet over the next few years, that’s going to be an increasing problem,” Hannigan said. “I saw a bank that had been hacked through its CCTV cameras because these devices are bought purely on cost.”

Mark Austin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Mark’s first encounter with high-tech was a TRS-80. He spent 20 years working for Nintendo and Xbox as a writer and…
Save $200 on this Dyson Cordless vacuum in Walmart’s giant sale
Dyson V12 Detect cordless vacuum being used to clean car interior.

When it comes to noteworthy vacuum brands, one of the best names in the business has always been Dyson. When you buy Dyson, you can pretty much guarantee you’re getting a vac that delivers powerful suction, excellent filtering tech, and plenty of battery life if you’re looking at a cordless model. Speaking of which, our never-ending quest to find the best vacuum deals led us to this awesome Walmart offer.

For a limited time, you can save $200 on the purchase of a brand-new Dyson V12 Connect Slim Cordless Vacuum Cleaner when you buy at Walmart. Normally, this bad boy sells for $650, but you’ll be able to call it yours for $450 while this deal lasts. 

Read more
How to send photos to the Skylight Cal Max
A photo displayed on the Cal Max

The Skylight Cal Max is a unique gadget that sits somewhere between a smart display and a digital picture frame. Its primary function is as a calendar, allowing you and your family to sync your schedules into one convenient location — but when it's not actively in use, it converts into a digital frame. Before it can start showing off your favorite photos, however, you'll need to send your photos to the Skylight Cal Max. This process is quick and easy, and there are a few different ways you can go about the task.

Read more
Reolink early Prime Day deals include discounts up to 48% off on security gear
Reolink Score Prime Day home security offers

Protecting your home or property starts with proper surveillance. Having a security camera or several in place allows you to record what's happening, whether to review later or use as potential evidence. Unfortunately, most home security solutions are expensive, and you need professional help to have them installed and set up appropriately. At least, that's usually the case unless you go with a smart home solution, like what Reolink offers in its incredible lineup of security options. Starting with the Argus 4 Pro, a 4K dual-lens battery-powered camera with 180-degree wide viewing angles, to the 4G Go Ranger PT outdoor camera with battery, there are quite a few models available. Even better, they're on sale as part of Reolink's early Prime Day savings when you use the Amazon discount code PD10EBDS at checkout.

 
Why Reolink?

Read more