Can Smart TVs Really Watch You?

We are well aware that we are living in an era of smart TVs, smartphones, smart pads, smart pens etc and sometimes, we tend to wonder if these gadgets are really that smart?

Can my smart TV see what I’m doing?

Today’s televisions are equipped with smart features like microphones, cameras, Internet connectivity and lots of different applications, which make the experience really close to PCs. A recent report discovered a security glitch that made many of these features, unready for the real world.

These flaws were discovered on some Samsung Smart TV devices, which enabled hackers to turn on the built-in camera without you noticing any slight trace on the screen. While you are sitting at home and watching your favorite TV series or a sports match, a hacker placed anywhere in the world could be watching you. Some hackers even lure the users to malicious websites to steal their bank account information.

Shortly after this was discovered from several iSEC CHFI Test Partners security researchers, Samsung fixed the problem sending software updates to all those TVs which were affected by this bug. This security leak speaks for itself and opens a bigger problem for all the gadgets, that have built-in cameras and are connected to the Internet. Cameras are not the only thing involved in this. There are also heating control and security systems that are controlled remotely through wireless connection. Without the proper security, hackers will be unstoppable and will steal all of your data.

In the Samsung Smart TVs case, the researchers claimed that they can easily enter the web browser using this glitch. This will give hackers the required access to all the functions, which can be controlled by the browser. Aaron Grattafiori, iSEC analyst, said that if only one application is vulnerable than the entire TV is vulnerable to attacks.

According to the report, the researchers were able to hack the browser on a way that will lead the users to any website chosen by the hackers. This research was made over various models of Samsung Smart TVs released in 2012 and was presented this week.

Bigger companies like Samsung are paying some hackers to find security glitches in their new devices, just like those found by iSEC. The researchers in this company believe that there are dozens of other TVs that are having the same problem and more flaws that can’t be detected. The iSEC researchers warned the users to make regular updates coming from the vendors, like they do with system updates on their smartphones. This should help to keep them protected.