In one of the strangest stories we’ve come across so far this week – yes, stranger than exploding yogurt and ramen cake – reports are coming in of a number of Chinese-made irons that contain “mini microphones” and chips that can plant viruses in nearby computer equipment via home Wi-Fi networks.
We always knew ironing sucked, but this is ridiculous.
According to news outlets in Russia, batches of Chinese-made electrical appliances such as kettles and irons have been found to contain chips designed to spy on their owner and launch cyber attacks.
The story began when Russia’s state-owned TV channel Rossiya 24 released footage of a technician taking apart an ordinary-looking iron that came amongst a bunch of Chinese-made imports, showing what was referred to as a small microphone within it. The appliances were allegedly sent to St Petersburg earlier this month, and entire shipments are now being rejected.
The channel stated that the devices are capable of communicating with devices connected to unprotected wireless networks anywhere within 200m (around 650 feet) of the seemingly innocent home appliances, launching spam attacks and planting viruses. BBC News also reports that the programme found similar chips installed inside the likes of in-car cameras and mobile phones, all of which are thought to have been assembled in and shipped from neighbouring China.
Remember, kids, keep your clothes crinkled and your sensitive data safe!