It is very likely this Black Friday you have finally decided to change your TV for a new model, bigger, with better image and above all, more advanced.
These intelligent TVs are more than just screens, and include complete operating systems that allow us to use apps, like a smartphone.
The potential of these new televisions is tremendous, but it is no less true that the amount of possibilities it offers also translates into a greater number of backdoors you are opening for attackers, especially if you do not follow certain practices.
This is said by the FBI itself, which has considered that the problem of Smart TVs is so great that it has had to make a public statement; the text reviews some of the usual security holes in these devices, and the danger that they are connected to the Internet.
The biggest problem with Smart TVs is that they often occupy a preferential place in our home, where a potential attacker could use the features of the device to obtain personal information.
For example, many of these televisions have microphones and cameras for functions such as voice control; however, an attacker could use it to spy if he finds security holes or if we have not sufficiently protected our network.
Related to this, televisions can serve as access points for an attacker; they always look for the weakest point in our network to carry out the attack, and this can be an intelligent television that comes unprotected, or misconfigured by default.
The “attacker” doesn’t even have to be a “hacker” per se; it can be the same app manufacturers and developers, who get a lot of data from their devices.
It is important to check which apps come pre-installed on the TV, and what permissions they have. Even though these apps have no bad intentions, they can be a security problem if they are not often updated with security patches.
This all sounds very catastrophic, and it is true that for most people the risk is not so great. But as we always talk about security, the key is to be aware of the worst that could happen, even if it doesn’t happen.
To make sure of that, we can take a few steps.
- Get to know your TV better. Check if it has microphones or cameras, and how you can deactivate them in the manual or with a search with the model number.
- Don’t trust the default settings. Change passwords and see how to disable features that collect information.
- If your TV has a camera and you don’t trust it not to use it, cover it up.
- Check your TV for updates, and if the manufacturer usually updates their devices.