smart fish tank hack
Unknown hackers attempted to steal from an unspecified North American casino by hijacking a high-tech smart fish tankTOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

Hackers have escalated from leveraging phishing attacks to actually using innocent fish and their habitats in real-life attacks. Unknown hackers recently attempted to steal from an unspecified North American casino by hijacking a high-tech smart fish tank.

The internet connected fish tank, which featured advanced sensors that "automatically regulate temperature, salinity, and feeding schedules," was configured to an individual VPN, to ensure that its communications network and data were safe from the hands of malicious entities. However, despite the security measures the casino took to secure the smart fish tank, hackers still managed to gather data.

Security researchers at Darktrace said that the hackers managed to steal some data and send it to a device in Finland before the attack was stopped.

"Someone used the fish tank to get into the network, and once they were in the fish tank, they scanned and found other vulnerabilities and moved laterally to other places in the network," Justin Feir, director for cyber intelligence and analysis at Darktrace, told CNN.

"By targeting an unconventional device that had recently been introduced into the network, the attack managed to evade the casino's traditional security tools," Darktrace said in its report. "The incident demonstrates the need to have complete visibility of every user and device – including internet-connected fish tanks."

Security researchers have warned about the risks posed by IoT (Internet of Things) devices.

The FBI recently issued out a warning about the dangers associated with smart toys. Last year, hackers leveraged the proliferate Mirai botnet in numerous attacks, one of which notably, led to a massive internet outage in the US.