Hackers have reportedly used millions of toothbrushes to launch a DDoS attack. According to a report by the Aargauer Zeitung (spotted by Tom’s Hardware), hackers infected nearly three million electric toothbrushes to turn them into botnets. The report also notes that this army of connected dental cleansing tools was used in a DDoS attack on a Swiss company’s website.Due to the attack, the company has reportedly lost millions of Euros of business.

How hackers used electric toothbrushes for a DDoS attack

As per the report, the toothbrush botnet was thought to have been vulnerable due to its Java-based OS. However, the report didn’t mention any particular toothbrush brand.
These toothbrushes normally use their connectivity for tracking and improving user oral hygiene habits. In this case, these toothbrushes were turned into a botnet after a malware infection. However, the report didn’t mention details about the specific Swiss company that was targeted with the DDoS attack. It is common for cybercriminals to issue threats that are attached to monetary demands before weaponising their DDoS army.

How to keep electric toothbrushes safe from attackers

Stefan Zuger from the Swiss branch of the global cybersecurity firm Fortinet has offered a few tips on how users can protect their toothbrushes or other connected gadgets. This includes devices like routers, set-top boxes, surveillance cameras, doorbells, baby monitors, washing machines and more.
Zuger said: “Every device that is connected to the Internet is a potential target – or can be misused for an attack.” He also noted that hackers continually look for vulnerabilities in every connected device. So, device software developers and cybercriminals are always competing against each other in this race.
He also added that recently Fortinet connected an ‘unprotected’ PC to the internet and discovered that it took only 20 minutes for attackers to infect it with malware.
Zuger has advised device owners to keep their devices, firmware and software updated. He also asked users to monitor their networks for suspicious activity, install security software and follow network security best practices.

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