The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Deconstruction
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Falling Behind
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Big Data List
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Bird Envy
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Down The Line
Is Your Smart TV A Secure TV?

Is Your Smart TV A Secure TV?

Is Your Smart TV a Secure TV?smart-tv-secure

We tend to think of security problems as the exclusive domain of computers and all too often forget about the other devices and gadgets in our homes. Phones, TVs, tablets, hi-fi systems and any other web-connected smart home appliances are all at risk of being compromised by hackers and criminals, often without the owners even being aware of the situation.

New research by Yossi Oren and Angelos Keromytis at the Columbia University Network Security Lab has now claimed that smart and interactive TVs are the most ‘at risk’ group. The ‘Red Button’ attack can be conducted quickly and discreetly from anywhere in the neighbourhood, and could quickly take control of your printer, online accounts and Wi-Fi router to severely disrupt your life.

The report found that any television which uses the new HbbTV standard is vulnerable. With almost all of Europe using the standard and with the US slowly catching up, the problem puts hundreds of millions of people at risk.

Oren and Keromytis claim that a hacker with a $250 1-watt amplifier could cover a 1.4 sq kilometre area. Oren mapped New York City neighbourhoods by population density overlaid with the locations of big digital broadcast antennas. By positioning the retransmission gear at a good height and within line of sight of a tower (for example, on a drone or tall building), a hacker in Queens could deliver malicious content via the Home Shopping Network to a potential audience of 100,000 people. With a more powerful 25-watt amp (about $1,500) the hacker can could cover nearer 35 sq kilometres, taking the reach of the attack into the hundreds of thousands of people.

A few characteristics of the method make it extremely dangerous. Firstly, neither the TV nor its owner would be aware that they are under attack. Secondly, the virus will remain active until the TV is entirely powered off. Finally, the virus is totally anonymous and untraceable because the hackers never present themselves on the internet with a source IP address or DNS server. All this means a person might be completely unaware an attack has happened until long after the event.

What can be done? The most extreme solution would be to completely cut off internet access to all broadcast-delivered HTML content, though this is unlikely to be do-able or practical for most home users. Another solution is monitoring smart TVs as a network. A single smart TV doesn’t know that its signal is being hijacked but the incoming signal data from multiple TV sets in the same area could be monitored to show abnormally high spikes in signal strength or application usage. Something as simple as asking users to confirm the launch of an app could also work.

Broadcasters would have lots of privacy issues to work out before any solution could be chosen however, and whichever method is ultimately selected will face the difficult task of acquiring an industry-wide and government-wide consensus to implement it. Do you use a smart TV? Have you taken any precautionary security measures? Let us know in the comments below.

(Infographic Source: iYogi)

By Daniel Price

Daniel Price
Follow Me!

Daniel Price

Daniel is a Manchester-born UK native who has abandoned cold and wet Northern Europe and currently lives on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. A former Financial Consultant, he now balances his time between writing articles for several industry-leading tech (CloudTweaks.com & MakeUseOf.com), sports, and travel sites and looking after his three dogs.
Daniel Price
Follow Me!

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Recent

Mobile Connectivity Rises – 24 Billion Networked Devices By 2019

Mobile Connectivity Rises – 24 Billion Networked Devices By 2019

Mobile Connectivity Rises Mobile Technologies such as BYOD, Wearable Technology and Internet of Things are the cornerstone to strong cloud computing adoption and will continue to be the case as the number of connected devices continue to climb. In May 2015, Cisco released the complete VNI Global IP Traffic Forecast, 2014 – 2019. Global highlights…

9 Pitfalls of Providing Cloud-Based Online Government Services

9 Pitfalls of Providing Cloud-Based Online Government Services

Cloud-Based Online Government Services Pitfalls When the US government designed the Affordable Care Act, a key part of the program was to encourage enrollment through the Healthcare.gov website. This online service was supposed to make it easier for citizens to learn about the ACA, compare their health insurance options, and take full advantage of this…

IOT, Intelligent Sensors, And The Change That Is Coming…

IOT, Intelligent Sensors, And The Change That Is Coming…

Intelligent Sensors And The Future What is or isn’t connected: In the end, that is the internet of things. They, the things, represent stuff that has been around for the past 30 years. It was only recently that we have developed a way to consistently connect those devices. Despite the increasing awareness of IoT, it…

Popular Archives

The History Of Back-Ups

The History Of Back-Ups

The History of Back-Ups There’s no doubt about it – we are spoilt. With external hard-drives, CDs, USB memory sticks, SD cards, online storage and multiple devices with vast memories we can save, access and back up our data more easily and more efficiently than ever before. (Image Source: Maxim Yurin, SoftLogica)  It’s not always been…

Wearable Tech – Will It Ever Be Fashionable?

Wearable Tech – Will It Ever Be Fashionable?

Wearable Tech – Will It Ever Be Fashionable? Wearable tech is taking over the world, and in that sense, it’s already fashionable. As we noted last week, the sector is expected to grow from $14 billion in 2014 to $70+ billion in 2024. But what about ‘high-fashion’? The catwalks and runways of London, Paris, and Milan? Can…

Sponsors

The Many Hats Of Today’s IT Managers

The Many Hats Of Today’s IT Managers

The Many Hats of IT Managers In years past, the IT department of most large organizations was much like a version of Middle Earth: a mysterious nether world where people who seemed infinitely smarter than the rest of us bustled around, speaking and typing languages that appeared indecipherable, yet, which made our world work. They…

Selling Your Business To Your Employees

Selling Your Business To Your Employees

Mobility For Your Employees It may seem a radical notion, the idea of selling your business to the people who work for you, but this is the era in which we now work. Employees of all levels are all incredibly aware of their options when it comes to mobility and employability. This doesn’t mean that…

Established in 2009

CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

CloudTweaks Comic Library

Advertising