said by dave: said by Stumbles:
I'll go on the limb and say; anything with a computer in it can be hacked, remotely or directly.
OK, let's see you hack my house thermostat remotely.
(It is surely microprocessor based, since that's the cheapest way to build something like that, but has no network connection of any kind; the only wire coming out of it is connected to the oil burner control unit).
Many devices that do not have any form of network/wireless connectivity can in fact be modified directly with physical access to the device (more specifically, the internal circuitry). For instance, many devices using microprocessors have a JTAG header on the circuit board that will allow the firmware to be modified using the right hardware interface and software.
While the threat of an attack requiring physical access to the device is nearly non-existent for most such devices, dave's point is mostly correct.
Mostly, only because the design of some devices makes it absolutely impossible to modify the firmware. Your thermostat may
fall into this category, since many cheap programmable thermostats use a custom one-chip solution, then again, it might not (can't know until you open it up and see what hardware is inside).