Who’s controlling your TV?
Consumer Reports found millions of Smart TVs from major manufacturers can be controlled by even novice hackers who exploit easy-to-find security flaws.
The problems affect Samsung televisions along with TV models made by TCL and other brands that use the Roku TV platform.
“While evaluating smart TVs for data privacy and security, we came across a vulnerability in some smart TVs that can be exploited by a hacker, who could write code to control the TV without the user’s permission,” Consumer Reports editor Maria Rerecich said.
Testers demonstrated how a hacker could potentially take over your TV, change channels, play offensive content or turn the volume up to full blast.
It can happen while you’re sitting there watching.
“This happens because many smart TVs have a programming interface, called an API, that lets you use your smartphone or tablet as a remote control over Wi-Fi,” Rerecich said.
“In some cases, we found that this API was not properly secured, and that could let a hacker control your TV.”
Hackers go through the internet and can be thousands of miles away.
The investigation marks Consumer Reports’ first tests using what’s known as the Digital Standard. It was developed to evaluate the privacy and security of products and services.
In response, both Samsung and Roku said they take privacy and security seriously. TCL referred to Roku’s response.