The Age reports on a zombie refrigerator, hacked by attackers and made to churn out "more than 750,000 malicious emails," making this the "first proven 'internet of things' based cyber attack involving 'smart' appliances."
Security experts previously spoke of such attacks as theoretical.
But Proofpoint said the case "has significant security implications for device owners and enterprise targets" because of massive growth expected in the use of smart and connected devices, from clothing to appliances.
"Proofpoint's findings reveal that cyber criminals have begun to commandeer home routers, smart appliances and other components of the internet of things and transform them into 'thingbots'", to carry out the same kinds of attacks normally associated with personal computers.
The security firm said these appliances may become attractive targets for hackers because they often have less security than PCs or tablets.
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