Samsung HDTVs Vulnerable to Zero-Day Hack

Dennis Faas's picture

A security researcher says he's found a major vulnerability in Samsung's new high-definition Smart televisions that could transfer control of a TV from the person with the remote control to an unknown, distant hacker.

Smart TVs are, arguably, the most advanced HDTVs on the market right now.

They provide viewers with a high-resolution Light Emitting Diode (LED) screen capable of displaying two- and three-dimensional video, and they also give users access to downloadable applications, including Facebook, Twitter, and Google Maps.

These capabilities have made Smart TVs hot items with the deep pockets crowd, who willingly shell out $2,000 or more to take one home.

Flaw Allows Hackers to Remotely Access TV

Now Threat Post security researcher Luigi Auriemma says these TVs contain a software flaw that could allow a hacker to gain remote access, steal data files stored on the units, change their remote control settings, and even infect them with malicious software.

For the time being, experts remain unsure which specific models are vulnerable. However, Auriemma has said that most Samsung Smart TVs can be hacked using the zero-day exploit. (Source: hothardware.com)

"We have tested different Samsung televisions of the latest generations running the latest version of their firmware," Auriemma reported.

"Unfortunately we can't disclose additional information but we can only say that almost all the people having a Samsung TV at home or in their offices are affected by this vulnerability." (Source: scmagazine.com)

HDTVs Increasingly Vulnerable to Attack

This is hardly the first time researchers have pointed to security vulnerabilities affecting various HDTVs and home theater components.

Auriemma himself has previously reported on security flaws affecting Samsung HDTVs and Blu-ray players. These vulnerabilities reportedly allowed a hacker to infiltrate the system via WiFi and adjust the devices' MAC addresses.

The changes sent the system into a continuous loop and effectively made the hacked components completely unusable.

Brazilian security expert Gabriel Menezes Nune previously discovered a flaw in Sony Bravia HDTVs that allowed a hacker to effectively crash the unit and make all its features inaccessible. (Source: scmagazine.com)

With televisions slowly evolving into all-in-one computers, it may be time for manufacturers and users alike to take TV security as seriously as PC security.

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