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Samsung, Roku Smart TVs Found To Be Vulnerable To Hacking

Samsung, Roku Smart TVs Found To Be Vulnerable To Hacking

VP Gary Ellison wrote: "Consumer Reports issued a report saying that Roku TVs and players are vulnerable to hacking".

The findings, led by Consumer Reports along with cybersecurity and privacy organizations, are part of the publication's new Digital Standard effort designed to "create a digital privacy and security standard to help guide the future design of consumer software, digital platforms and services, and Internet-connected products".

Consumers have the ability to turn off the feature enabling remote-control applications, he says, and Roku's support of automatic content recognition (which could be used to target ads) is an opt-in feature.

According to the agencies' complaint, starting in February 2014, VIZIO, Inc. and an affiliated company have manufactured VIZIO smart TVs that capture second-by-second information about video displayed on the smart TV, including video from consumer cable, broadband, set-top box, DVD, over-the-air broadcasts, and streaming devices.

Smart TVs evolved from entertaining gimmick to the only option in a shockingly short window of time. The same vulnerability was reported for the smart TV sets from Sony, LG, and Vizio.

The reports found that millions of Roku devices and Samsung smart TVs can be controlled by hackers. TCL referred to Roku's response.

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"To become a victim, a TV user would need to be using a phone or laptop running on the same Wi-Fi network as the television, and then visit a site or download a mobile app with malicious code", said Consumer Reports.

You could just buy an old-fashioned "dumb" TV, without built-in streaming capabilities, but these are becoming harder to find.

CR found consumers who race through the process of setting up the Smart TV end up agreeing to sharing too much; calling it "oversharing by design". Also, if they say no to a basic privacy policy, they won't be able to stream anything web-based services such as Netflix or Amazon. If so, pay close attention during setup. It also requires the company to delete data collected before March 1, 2016, and to implement a comprehensive data privacy program and biennial assessments of that program. "These sets are growing in popularity, and they can transmit a remarkable amount of information about their users back to the TV manufacturers and their business partners". "And", Brookman says, "if you can't figure it out, call customer support and make them walk you through it".

Turn off the TV's WiFi connection.

Smart TVs represent the lion's share of new televisions. And, you won't be surprised to hear, those devices may have their own expansive data collection practices.


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