Is your new toaster giving you malware? Probably not- but this is what’s being reported in Russia after malware-spreading Wi-Fi microchips were discovered inside common household appliances from China.
The insidious chips have apparently been popping up in small appliances throughout Russia, using an embedded Wi-Fi chip to infect computers around them with malware. Any computer connected to an unsecured Wi-Fi network within 200 meters of one of these chips could be compromised by the spam-sending malware program.
Currently it seems that infected victims of these electronic Trojan horses were used to send out spam to other computers. It is possible that whoever implanted these Wi-Fi chips could also use them to extract information from infected computers via the same internet connection; the chips may even be used to download further malware onto a computer.
The chips were noticed by Russian officials after they noticed a difference in the weight of the goods. Amongst appliances with Wi-Fi chips embedded inside them were irons, electric kettles, dashboard cameras and even cellphones.