Answer: if the air-conditioner were connected to the Internet AND an attractive target, it might make good sense.

In an elaborate and still largely confidential investigation, it seems the Target hackers penetrated an HVAC unit at Target that was – for building monitoring reasons – attached to the main store computer network. It was an easy jump from there , according to an online article into the POS (Point-of-Sale) system and the ability to “scrape” almost 100 MILLION customer identities off the POS terminals as the Christmas season reached its height.

With a great deal of savvy and/or greed, the hackers stored this information ON TARGET’S OWN COMPUTER SYSTEM (how’s that for irony – Target unwittingly aided and abetted stealing its own digital assets) until the Christmas rush was over. It THEN uploaded it to zombie servers prepped to take the stolen identities, and then forwarded-on to the hackers themselves.

Target Lesson #3: anything attached to the IoT – Internet of Things – is a potential open-door to a hacker, and can create a disastrous outcome. Detecting hackers & malware is the critical ingredient in securing your digitial assets – your customer files, your confidential data, your cash. If you can’t afford the $1.6MM Target paid for hacker and malware detection software (that Target completely ignored) and the IT staff to install and operate it, you might consider talking to a Managed Secure IT Service Provider that CAN afford it and knows HOW to use it … and get covered.

Best wishes,

New Jersey IT Services

Stephen E. Reade
Director Sales & Marketing