Watching a Smart TV? It's watching you, too.

in security on (#3K9)
This just in from the Register: If you're watching a "smart television" containing internet capability and camera/microphone, your television is also watching you and can be coopted via malware to do all sorts of terrible things. Manufacturers seem to be blind to this, turning out lots of new models of internet-aware devices that risk being "smart" in all the wrong ways.
[Security experts] demonstrated exactly [the vulnerability] just down the road from the Infosec Europe conference, held in London. "Installing the bugging software requires physical access to the device, which is how we did it, or by installing a malicious app," said Felix Ingram, principal consultant at NCC Group. "Malicious apps could be downloaded from the manufacturer’s app store. The TV does have the option for auto-updating, so releasing a legitimate app, then releasing a malicious update, is another attack vector."
Why bother buying a Smart TV though, when you can much more simply make your own using a Raspberry Pi [video]? You control the hardware, you control the software, and for bonus points you don't have to rely on the manufacturer to provide you the occasional firmware update out of the goodness of their hearts.

Dumb TV (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-05-12 09:03 (#1H3)

When I went shopping for a new TV at the start of the year, I deliberately only considered 'dumb' TVs. The plan was to add the 'smartness' by using a spare computer I had. The computer does much more, and all the smart TV user interfaces have either had truly awful user interfaces or not supported something I wanted (meaning the computer would be needed anyway). The other issue is that it's likely that in a few years time a smart TV will be pretty out of date in what it supports - you'll have a perfectly good display but with this useless lump of 'smart' (complete with terrible user interface and security vulnerabilities). The computer however can stay up to date much more easily.
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