No, 3 million Electric Toothbrushes were not used in a DDoS Attack; Hypothetical Attack

3 million electric toothbrushes were hacked with malware to conduct distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks is likely a hypothetical scenario instead of an actual attack, said a publication.

The published a story stated that an employee of cyber security firm Fortinet said 3 million electric toothbrushes had been infected with Java malware to conduct DDoS attacks against a Swiss company.

“The electric toothbrush is programmed with Java, and criminals have unnoticed installed malware on it – like on 3 million other toothbrushes,” reads the article.

“One command is enough and the remote-controlled toothbrushes simultaneously access the website of a Swiss company. The site collapses and is paralyzed for four hours. Millions of dollars in damage is caused.”

The story is dramatic and definitely newsworthy, if accurate, and began sweeping through other technology news sites yesterday, with numerous publications covering the alleged attack without verifying the story.

There is no record that this attack ever happened.

A DDoS attack is when an attacker sends enough requests or data at a website to overwhelm its resources or bandwidth so that it can no longer accept requests from legitimate visitors, effectively making the site unusable.

This type of attack has been increasingly used by hacktivists to protest a country’s or business’s activities or by threat actors who use them to extort businesses.

To conduct these attacks, routers, servers, and IoT devices are hacked by brute forcing or using default passwords, or exploiting vulnerabilities.

(Image courtesy: Australiancybersecuritymagazine)

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