Federal Bureau of Investigation issues warning about smart TVs

04 Décembre, 2019, 07:56 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • NewsGeneralRead FBI warns people about the smart TVs they just bought during Black Friday
By Robin Leigh Chetty

In the worst-case scenario, they could access the camera in your bedroom TV and silently cyber-stalk you, in a plot straight out of "Mr. Robot".

Know exactly what features your TV has and how to control those features.

Potential smart TV owners were advised that hackers who had taken control of an unsecured set could do anything from messing around with volume controls to showing inappropriately violent or sexually explicit videos to children. Smart TVs usually update your apps automatically, but if your TV is asking you to manually initiate an installation or to reset the TV to complete an update, don't ignore it. Putting off an update may expose you to vulnerabilities that have been fixed in an app's newer version. Some even have built-in cameras, both for facial recognition and to utilize apps like Skype.

United States citizens have been warned that hackers could be watching them in their homes through their smart TVs.

Connected televisions with cameras and microphones can provide an opening for bad actors to spy on you and violate your privacy, they warned. But like any internet-connected device, they can be a convenient portal for hackers, as the FBI's Portland field office pointed out in a warning to consumers last week.

Nevertheless, they warned, 'it is possible that your unsecured TV can give him or her an easy way in the backdoor through your router'.

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On the more nefarious side, hackers could also break into your TV.

The bureau noted that United States citizens can report cyber-fraud to either their local FBI office, or online via the Internet Crime Complaint Centre.

Let's be clear here: That's a risk every single one of us takes with every single electronic device we use. To start, the agency suggests doing a basic search on your TV model and its features, using words like "microphone", "camera" and privacy.

In order to guard against possible intrusion, the Federal Bureau of Investigation recommends that smart TV owners educate themselves on their device's security settings (available from a simple Google search), change default network passwords set by manufacturers, and understand how to enable and disable microphones and cameras.

More recently, Samsung issued guidance to customers saying they should regularly scan their smart TVs for malware, just like a PC.

Change passwords and turn off mics and cameras - if you can't then consider a "simple piece of black tape over the camera eye". More than that, the spotty security patch habits of most TV manufacturers means that some smart TVs are much more vulnerable than others. Look for the data they collect and what they do with it.

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