Hackers attack Casino’s fish tank thermometer to obtain sensitive data

The Internet of Things (IoT) has transformed the way we use everyday objects such as appliances, thermometers, and even lighting. However, despite their various benefits for home and business owners, the IoT cannot be termed as a flawless and productive technology.

As they say with blessing come bane; same is the case with IoT devices – In fact, hackers prefer targeting IoT devices.

IoT devices basically refer to devices and appliances that are connected to the internet or in simple words, smart device. But the aspect that makes this kind of technology prone to risks is that these are vulnerable to hacking.

As per the CEO of Darktrace, a cybersecurity firm, Nicole Eagan a casino recently got attacked by hackers only because of a vulnerable smart thermometer. The purpose of the thermometer was to track the water temperature of an aquarium that was installed in the lobby. Hackers somehow managed to identify and obtain information from the high-roller database list of the casino simply by compromising the thermometer.

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Eagan stated at the WSJ CEO Council in London that:

“The attackers used that to get a foothold in the network. They then found the high-roller database and then pulled that back across the network, out the thermostat, and up to the cloud.”

The casino became a victim of a serious data breach due to the hack attack. Attackers acquired a foothold in the network after which they found the high-roller database; they stole it from the network using the thermometer and transferred it to the cloud.

Eagan didn’t reveal the name of the said casino but did mention that the compromised database can include sensitive information about the casino’s biggest spenders.

The incident does serve as a reminder to all of us that IoT devices are extremely vulnerable to being hacked. The situation is concerning because such attacks have occurred previously too. Such as last year Justin Fier, the director of cyber intelligence for the same firm Darktrace, also referred to a hack attack involving thermometer.

At that time, Fier explained, someone managed to infiltrate the fish tank and used it to access the network and steal data. In that particular case too, the company refrained from revealing the name of the targeted casino. All that we know about the casino yet is that it was located on the outskirts of North America. Eagan stated that the proliferation of IoT devices have made users a lot more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and we couldn’t agree more.

Watch How An Internet-Connected Fish Tank Works

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Waqas

Waqas Amir is a Milan-based cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Waqas is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.