How Hackers Could Have You Calling Us for a Walk-In Freezer

Smart Refrigerator Hacks
15-Feb-2019

The era of smart things connected globally by way of the Internet of Things (IoT) has ushered in an interesting problem for makers of commercial cold storage. Simply put, connected refrigerators and freezers can be hacked. Being a victim could have you calling us for a refrigerator or walk-in freezer just to keep your business going.

Though it sounds far-fetched, your cold storage capacity could be interrupted by hackers if you utilise smart technology. According to a published report on the Silicon Angle website, a new security vulnerability was just discovered by a group of researchers looking at the networked refrigeration common to hospitals and supermarkets. Hackers could allegedly gain control of chillers and freezers, subsequently changing temperature settings that could ultimately prove damaging.

What They Found

Researchers discovered that cold storage units in the UK, Germany, Malaysia, Italy, and other parts of the world were vulnerable to a flaw in their network settings. The flaw is exacerbated by the tendency of users to not change default usernames and passwords.

More than 7000 network units with a specific kind of commercial thermostat are vulnerable to the flaw. Hackers can gain access through a standard web browser and the right URL. Furthermore, it is not difficult to find the URLs hackers need to do what they do.

According to Silicon Angle, networked refrigeration has been hacked before. One particular case they cited involved a disgruntled contract worker who hacked networked refrigeration units belong to both a supermarket and medical storage facility. He changed temperature settings in an effort to do some real damage. Fortunately, the hack was detected early enough to prevent severe losses.

Contact Us for Backup

The point of this post is not to cause customers to panic about their networked cold storage. Rather, it is to encourage you to have a plan in place just in case your walk-in freezers and chillers end of being compromised by hackers. Have a backup plan in place, a plan that includes contacting Icecool Trailers for temporary replacement units.

There's no telling how much damage a hacker could do to a connected unit. A successful hack could be something as minor as temporarily changing temperature settings that can be changed back in an instant. But it could also be as serious as completely shutting down refrigerators and freezers for extended amounts of time. You cannot afford to be without your cold storage in such a case.

It's true that the IoT is making it possible for us to do a lot of things with network devices we never before dreamed possible. But it also opens us to all sorts of security vulnerabilities. So yes, hackers could wreak havoc on your networked chillers and freezers.

As far-fetched as it may sound, it has happened before and will likely happen again. Someday a hacker may have you calling Icecool Trailers for an emergency fridge or walk-in freezer. We will be ready. Will you?

Sources:

Silicon Angle – https://siliconangle.com/2019/02/10/networked-refrigeration-used-supermarkets-hospitals-vulnerable-hacking/