Internet security firms work to tackle ‘easily hackable’ Smart TVs

Internet security firms have a new problem to tackle. With Smart TVs becoming not only popular but standardised, the threat of cyber attacks at home is increasing. As Smart TV continue to get more advanced – with new features available almost on a monthly basis – the threat of attack continues to rise.

As a result of the increased threat, TV manufacturers are working with hacking and security experts to find a way to protect their screens. And the main issue (it would appear) is that hackers can get into Smart TVs without them even being connected to the internet.

Demonstrating an attack on Samsung’s Smart TV range, security consultant Rafael Scheel demonstrated how easy it is to gain root access. Tapping into the TVs using a cheap transmitted, Scheel embedded commands into a DVB-T and hey presto! Warning against hackers using TVs to spy on users, he said that connected devices in the home are increasing the risk of privacy breakdown. “This sort of breach would allow hackers to do things like attack further devices in the home network or to spy on the user with the TV’s camera and microphone,” he warned. “Such an attack can target several TVs at once, without the need to physically tamper with them.”

Because most Smart TVs are tuned to DVB-T stations Scheel claims that they are easy to exploit due to an ‘unknown number of security flaws’ and ‘multiple vulnerabilities’. He also said the Web browsers used in Smart TVs run with a minimal amount of internet security and hence present easy access to hackers.

Internet security fears continue to mount across many sections of the technology market. Last week, security experts hit back at calls for end-to-end encryption to be removed from messaging devices such as WhatsApp. Responding to concerns by Home Secretary Amber Rudd, many experts said the UK government would be ‘wasting its time and money’ to ban end-to-end encryption from services such as WhatsApp.

Just last month it also emerged that more than 20,000 government officials have legal access to UK citizens online records. The number itself is likely to be much higher after a recently-passed ‘snooping law’ paved the way for a Big Brother state (too much? probably not). 

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