The Internet of Things (IoT) is a scenario in which objects and entities are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to automatically transfer data over a network. A thing, in this context, could be a dedicated computing device such as a PC, notebook, smartphone or tablet, or almost anything else. A thingbot might be coopted to send spam or malware or to host illicit content, all without the knowledge of the owner.
In December 2013 a researcher at Proofpoint, an enterprise security firm, discovered that hundreds of thousands of spam emails were being logged through a security gateway. Proofpoint traced the attacks to a botnet made up of 100,000 hacked appliances.
Dan Raymond explains how an Internet of Things botnet sent spam via refrigerators and televisions.
See also: IoT security