Can Hackers Steal Info from Smart TVs ?


Dear Buyers, the advancement in technology in past decade has transformed our living . Now we are dependent on phone, TV, smart kitchens and smart offices. But have you ever thought of the side effects that it may carry. We all are aware how the hackers have ruined billions of dollars from our computers.

Now the latest victim is smart TVs . If you’ve purchased a new smart TV, with built-in Youtube, Hulu,  Netflix, and other Web connections, then just be aware , you can be victim of TV Hacking.

Consumer Reports  just published its findings based on the research done on top 5 leading Smart TV makers TCL, Sony, Samsung , Vizio and LG. And its findings are really frightening , all the TVs failed their security test. “What we found most disturbing about this was the relative simplicity of” hacking in, says Glenn Derene, Consumer Reports‘ senior director of content.

The most common hacking problems include gathering data of what you watch and what time, which means your privacy is gone. Few others include installing apps in background, changing channel while you watch TV, increasing the volume and sometime playing objectionable content from YouTube.

Smart TV tracking

More than 50% of TVs sold in USA in 2017 belonged to Smart TV category.Consumers opt for them because they save people the hassle of changing their settings when they want to stream media from the Internet.

These new TVs have a technology add-on called Automatic Content Recognition, which monitors what you watch, in an attempt to do a better job than Nielsen at measuring viewership.

So, hypothetically you could watch the show This is Us, and the next thing you know, your computer and phone will start showing you ads for the NBC show, similar to how we’re tracked online.

Consumer Reports says there’s an easy fix. Turn off the feature that tracks your watching.

That’s one choice. Your other two are to turn off Wi-Fi while you’re watching, which doesn’t make sense if you like to stream, or buy a dumb TV and stream the old-fashioned way, via a set-top box.

But that still may leave you open to hackers. Consumer Reports found that the Roku streaming box, which used the same operating system it tested on Roku-branded TV’s sold by TCL, was also vulnerable. It didn’t mention testing the Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV boxes because those operating systems aren’t widely available, if at all, within other TVs.

Hacking risk aside, the report found that the smart TVs it evaluated asked for permission to collect viewing data and other information, but it wasn’t necessarily easy for users to understand what information they were agreeing to share, and there was a tendency to request oversharing — such as monitoring everything a TV watcher did, whether it was streaming, playing a DVD or watching paid TV.

Consumers are used to letting Internet-streaming services Netflix, YouTube and Hulu track everything they watch on their services, in order to recommend other shows. So is it so bad if NBC and CBS, via the set manufacturer or software vendor, get the same information?

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