While the global market for smart TV sets will continue to grow to the point of clear dominance over the next few years, the development of the technology has raised concerns on whether the TV-watching experience will soon be ‘safe’ anymore.
Security researchers are in particular concerned with Samsung’s line of smart TV sets (namely, the Samsung 3D LED TV), and claim that the range of products include a previously-unnoticed vulnerability that could enable ’remote attackers’ to steal data directly from the TV set.
New security company ReVuln, based in Valletta (Malta), claim that they have found a ‘zero-day vulnerability’ that can be used to access files and viewing history (including personal information such as bank details) remotely with no authorisation, as well as taking data from any USB devices attached to the set.
ReVuln’s Luigi Auriemma said of the problems for smart TV users: “This specific vulnerability affects almost all the Samsung televisions of the latest generations, so multiple models. We plan to invest more time and effort on the home devices security in the near future testing the products of many other vendors (we chose Samsung because it’s the current market leader in this sector) and moreover finding new types of attacks and ways to use such vulnerabilities. The televisions are just the beginning.”
ReVuln claim that as opposed to going direct to smart TV makers with their detailed findings, they will sell it off to the highest (and presumably most appropriate) bidder, claiming that this method will ‘speed up’ the development of fixing such sets, so for this reason the company are only reporting an overview of the problems.
Even if the sets aren’t used in additional form as much as its creators would like, the world of smart TV is still a fast-developing one that has to be wary of the potentially fatal security breaches that could occur in such developing technology. Computers and even games consoles have been on the receiving end of such attacks, so what measured to TV providers have in place to avoid a viewing experience ending in more than just video clips being viewed?