I've heard broadcasting signals can be used to hack most smart TVs. How does this work? How can it be prevente...
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
It takes one TV transmitter to hack some smart TVs that include cameras and microphones. A hacker turns on the transmitter to send malicious commands into a rogue TV signal. The signal is then broadcast to a large number of TVs all at once.
A TV's camera gets visual access into your living room. A microphone can listen to conversations between you and another person. Your personal data can be copied. Settings for a home security network connected to your TV can be quietly turned off. All of these are a perfect recipe for timing break-ins into your home.
Security consultant Rafael Scheel demonstrated the smart TV security vulnerability exploit that he developed for Swiss security consulting firm Oneconsult in February 2017 at the European Broadcasting Union Media Cyber Security Seminar in Geneva. To exploit the TV vulnerability, Scheel used web browser bugs to gain complete control of the smart TV. The transmitter is based on digital video broadcasting -- terrestrial, which is a transmission standard built into most TVs.
The hackers taking advantage of this smart TV security vulnerability could extend the exploit to embed malicious code into the signal being broadcast to millions of TVs in highly populated urban areas. Scanning and infecting broadcast signals from cable and satellite providers is not a distant possibility.
Here are some tips to prevent these kinds of exploits and to harden your smart TV security.
- Cover the camera on the TV with a small piece of tape.
- Turn off the microphone when it's not in use.
- Secure your home network and personal data.
- Install security updates from your TV manufacturer.
- Automate web browser updates.
- Don't accept a suspicious message that asks you to provide links to other devices.
- Disconnect your TV from your home network.
- Unplug your TV as a last resort.
Ask the expert:
Want to ask Judith Myerson a question about security? Submit your question now via email. (All questions are anonymous.)
Find out what Samsung's Smart TV is really saying about you
Learn why it's a good idea to turn off voice recognition on a smart TV
Read about the possible nightmare of so many smart devices
Dig Deeper on IoT security issues
Related Q&A from Judith Myerson
NIST recently issued guidance on mitigating the security risks of application containers. Expert Judith Myerson outlines some of the risks and fixes ...continue reading
BrickerBot is similar to other IoT malware like Mirai, Hajime and others. Expert Judith Myerson explains what makes BrickerBot different, and what ...continue reading
A wave of Jenkins vulnerabilities related to plug-ins were recently discovered. Expert Judith Myerson explains the flaws and how enterprises should ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.