Hackers could access personal information through WiFi fridges and smart TVs, police chief warns

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Hackers could access home internet systems through gadgets such as WiFi fridges and smart TVs, a top police officer has warned.

Internet-connected devices such as high-tech kettles could provide a back-door to otherwise well-protected personal networks, said Durham’s Chief Constable Mike Barton, national lead on crime operations.

Mr Barton told the Telegraph: “It’s not just that they [cyber-criminals] are going to get into your fridge and find out how many yoghurts you eat a week.

“The fact is that your ‘internet of things’ are all plugged into the same network and that provides the criminal with a back door into your network.

“The more you connect up your devices, the more you give people the opportunity to invade and the more there is a very real challenge to your security.”

The NHS was badly affected by a targeted cyber attack in May (PA)

Mr Barton explained that since many appliances are now fitted with cameras, hackers could even use them to spy on people in their own homes.

He also pointed out that integration of the devices with bank details, such as a fridge that can order milk online when it runs out, posed an added risk.

The warning came as the government said it plans to let tech firms like Amazon and Google provide gas and electricity to British customers.

Rules banning firms that are not dedicated energy providers from entering the market will be relaxed by energy regulator Ofgem and the Department for Business, Innovation, Energy and Skills.

The government hopes billions could be wiped from electricity bills as tech firms “disrupt the market”.

But the scheme will require homes to use internet-connected meters providing information about energy consumption, leading to further fears over hacking.

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