Hello, hello, one and all. It’s that special time of year, my time to spread mischief and fear. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, Theft Season is here! You probably don’t remember me from this time last year. As you strain and wiggle to jiggle your brain. I was one of the crew that concocted a well thought plan, which lead you down the path of 12 days of havoc and, 12 days of plunder. The story of Theft Season is back from a deep, deep slumber.

It seems like my warnings were dismissed without fear, for you all thought I was joking, a rude holiday jeer, for hacking IoT devices, and accounts would not happen this year. Ugly hideous sweaters, office parties and spiked Nog may have dulled your fear. 

Sorry to ruin your fun and ring-a-ding cheer, but my fellow threat actors have had great fun this year. 

Your princess’ toy that brought her much joy, has been steadily, collecting, pilfering, while spreading Christmas Grinch joy. The smart house you love is under our control, from the cameras, placed both inside and out, to the toaster, lamps and outlets throughout. Why, why, why do you need a smart toaster, what is that about? 

While on the subject of strange IoT things. While peeking and prodding your seemingly hidden camera feed. There’s that time you met a friend through Ashley, who had a propensity for the most deviously unmentionable despicable things. I know not why some devices have connectivity, or are repurposed in the most peculiar ways, all I can say is seek therapy, my eyes, my eyes, so many things I cannot un-see. My only solitude was to cry myself to sleep while holding my bear Mr Wahbee. 

Reading your emails, tweets, and texts, and sanctimonious posts on your (cough) tech blog. You claim yourself an expert who knows the most. Never practicing what you preach, or following your own advice, you only have the good sense to be a sec blunder. I have a new product for you to push to those who don’t know, its sparkly and glows with flashy red lights and a cute button nose, it’s a truly feature-rich node. It’s the definition of IoT gold, anything to make your smart house more bold.

The spoils of this year's heists have been profitable indeed. I learned from your credit report your student loans are unpaid, and a few purchases the missus might not agree. Mom refinanced her house, and bought an investment property, sis has been co-signing for her boyfriend who has been going on a shopping spree. For a modest fee, all of you and yours can be debt free. Credit reports, text messages, emails, metadata in pictures and, last but not least, hush, hush super-secret, private data from a three-letter agency can help produce good intelligence for me to exploit, indeed! Sometimes a little leverage is all you need. 

This year has taught us many valuable things. One is people are willing to pay handsomely to make things go away. I have never found it so easy to make 100k. All from knowing how you like to get to and from work or play. Ransomware pays handsomely, while you bicker and whine over whether to pay, regardless of your choice it still benefits me, I still have your data to peruse, dabble and peek. Your IoT device mines coins efficiently, having millions of miners will almost guarantee, a soon to be life of the rich and famous shopping spree.

There is no reason for me to ramble, preach, or complain, for your choices will continue to remain the same, being stubborn and blind, refusing to acknowledge or see, that me and my friends are the true authority of all the world’s riches, data, information and policies. Before we begin this year’s crime spree, I wanted send a message from you to me, as my own little special Season’s Greetings.