Smart Coffee Machine Attacked By Ransomware, Incorrect Install Re-infects Computers

Aug. 3, 2017

A recent posting on sheds some light on a problem that can occur when smart coffee machines are incorrectly installed. The poster, who wanted to remain nameless, was part of a team helping a factory operator deal with a ransomware attack on several computers. The computers were not connected the internet. After shutting them down and re-imagining them, the computers got re-infected with the ransomware somehow. It wasn't until the operator mentioned that he couldn't get coffee in the break area because the coffee machine also showed the ransomware message that the true source of the problem was discovered. The person installing the coffee brewer was supposed to connect it to an isolated WIFI network, but instead connected it to the internal control room network and the WIFI network. The coffee brewer was re-infecting the computers. 

Editor's Insight: While this is an unverified report, it does bring up a real issue. Operators installing sophisticated coffee equipment need to know about cyber security and how to handle an issue like this if one occurs. This is not the first report of a smart device being the weak point for a hacker or malicious program to access an otherwise secure corporate network. If there have been steps at a location to prevent this, those too need to be communicated.