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Samsung TVs with Antivirus

Odd but true: Nowadays even a TV needs a virus scanner.
In this case Samsung suggests that you install McAfee
VirusScan for Android and let it run once a month to find
possible malicious apps running on your TV.

The modern “Smart”-TVs as you call them as soon as they have an intelligent OS on them for operation and content presentation seem to be in the focus of hackers that try to break into the TV’s OS and compromise security. This can be the observation using a webcam if your TV has one installed or if you exchange sensitive data like login credentials for various services.

The question is, why need TV sets have a compromisable OS on them. Where are the times where a TV has a basic interface software that provides simple functions: TV guide, program switching and image/sound adjustments. That’s it! Everything else should be exported onto a standalone box which cannot harm the TV’s OS in any way. and if something suspicious is going on, the simple act would be unhooking the external box while the TV can be operated safely.

But nowadays users want to have it all united into one place and that’s why hackers see great potential in the IoT devices. And a TV hooked to the Internet to use YouTube, Netflix or other streaming services are considered members of the IoT, or simply Smart-TVs if you will.

However with connecting a device to the Internet there also comes great responsibility and attention when sharing sensitive data. You need to pay attention to any suspicious behavior. And this can become even more complicated when companies use a rather inaccessible backend for their GUI. Then the user can barely see if something isn’t working the way it should. Plus: You can’t see when your TV is transferring data. there’s simply no status bar telling you that data is being transferred. Or let alone the missing status LED of the built-in web camera. Some companies already took action and implemented a status LED, yes but Android can be tricked not to activate this LED but the camera/microphone, making it the perfect spying tool.

External boxes can be also made a spying tool if left unsecure. However closed ecosystems like AppleTV seem to be way les prone to hacking attempts. Also boxes that use a proprietary OS seem to be less likely hacked.

But all in all there’s one thing to say: Once you hook your gadget to the Internet, you’re a potential candidate for being hacked if done cleverly. And hackers have the possibilities to do so. The safest way is still: Do not hook your TV to the Internet. Of course you loose comfort functions but you won’t have to fear that someone is spying on you or using your TV set to do so.

June 15, 2019 Netspark - 1594 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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