Proofpoint Inc (NASDAQ:PFPT) Reports On Cyber Attack

Posted by Chris Bell January 17, 2014 0 Comment 1050 views


In what could prove to be the first of many such scary reports, Proofpoint Inc (NASDAQ:PFPT) which is a tech firm specializing in providing “security as a service provider” services to enterprises and other IT houses has released a damning report on the underlying dangers of data theft and cyber attacks which are lurking in the unseen world of “internet of things”.

Two Week Tracking Of The Thingbot Attack

It has painstakingly tracked and reported on a “thingbot” attack which took place between 23rdDecember ’13 and 6th January of this year, in which professional cyber hackers had commandeered close to one hundred thousand consumer devices which included internet connected devices like “home network routers, home-networking routers, connected multi-media centres, televisions and at least one refrigerator” to send out a astounding 750,000 malicious emails to unsuspecting recipients spread across  corporate IT setups and individual computer users.

Household Devices Connected To Net Compromised

In what is purportedly the first recorded thingbot” attack that Proofpoint Inc (NASDAQ:PFPT) tracked from end to end, spam messages in multiple batches were sent out with each batch containing no less than jaw dropping  one hundred thousand emails, at regular intervals all through the day. On closer examination, the security firm was stunned to realize that close to 25percent of the malicious emails sent out were tracked to being originating from such house hold devices like “infected home-networking routers, connected multi-media centres, televisions and at least one refrigerator”.

Difficult To Track And Block

The crafty cyber criminals had programmed the bot in a manner that no more than 10 emails were sent out by any one single IP address. The security firm believes that this was worked into the malicious software to make the job of IT security team difficult in being able to block the spam attacks based on locations. The findings provide dire warnings of the potential for mischief and huge financial losses that the public in general are facing, since most of these everyday devices identified lacked even basic security cover or were easily compromised by either “misconfiguration or by using default passwords”.



About Chris Bell

Chris Bell is an investing reporter for GDP Insider. Chris covers financial markets and Wall Street, concentrating on developments affecting individual investors and their portfolios. Chris is also over consumer reporter and covers a wide variety of issues ranging from housing to immigration to urban poverty. Chris graduated from the University of Scranton with a degree in Communication and Philosophy. Chris's diligent investigations earned him the honor of being named "Best Reporter" once by the Headliners Foundation of Texas and once by the Houston Press Club.

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