A report was released by the FBI at the end of last year warning the public about internet connected televisions, smart TVs.
Smart TVs are finding their way into more and more homes, with an ever-growing list of functions and features, from voice control to video calls. Most of these features require a wide range of sensors in order to operate. Many modern smart TV’s have microphones built into both the TV itself and remote controls for voice search functions, as well as having built-in cameras for interactive games or video calls.
These sensors built into smart TVs are often less secure than other internet connected devices like smartphones, tablets or computers.
The weak security often found in these devices could allow attackers to gain access to the sensors built into modern smart TVs. This could enable an attacker to eavesdrop on private conversations via built-in microphones or watch users through built-in cameras.
Users should take some time to learn exactly what their smart TV is capable of and disable any features that aren’t needed or wanted. It’s also recommended that cameras are covered over when not in use.
The warning released by the FBI says:
“Beyond the risk that your TV manufacturer and app developers may be listening and watching you, that television can also be a gateway for hackers to come into your home. At the low end of the risk spectrum, they can change channels, play with the volume, and show your kids inappropriate videos. In a worst-case scenario, they can turn on your bedroom TV’s camera and microphone and silently cyberstalk you.”