23 and Jan. 6. While most of the messages were sent by conventional means, such as personal computers and mobile devices, more than 25 percent came from non-traditional sources, including “100,000 everyday consumer gadgets, such as home-networking routers, connected multi-media centers, televisions, and at least one refrigerator,” Proofpoint said. Researchers have repeatedly warned that the surging popularity of smart appliances and devices (this year’s CES was heavily dominated by ” Internet of Things “) meant attackers would start taking advantage of these devices to launch attacks. Security Watch even highlighted the vulnerabilities in Internet of Things as part of its look-ahead for 2014. However, Proofpoint’s report is not definitive proof that such a botnet already exists. A Look at Proofpoint’s Claims To be clear, there is nothing that jumps out in Proofpoint’s report as being impossible. The attackers took advantage of the fact that many of these networked devices still had default passwords or had been configured incorrectly, Proofpoint said. This is nothing new, since researchers have been demonstrating how to install a backdoored firmware onto vulnerable routers since 2008.