Consumer Reports Warns Of Smart TV Hacking Vulnerability, Roku Disagrees

Consumer Reports Warns Of Smart TV Hacking Vulnerability, Roku Disagrees

As USA Today reports, Consumer Reports discovered that the security measures of the smart TVs were so bad, hackers were actually able to take over and control them remotely.

All of them can track what consumers watch, and two of the brands failed a basic security test.

Samsung has attempted to make sure only authorised applications can control the TV, but a flawed mechanism makes it possible for hackers to take over, the report says. The results indicate that Samsung and Roku TVs have security flaws.

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This was part of a broader evaluation by Consumer Reports of a number of top smart TVs. Even more frightening is how the hackers were able to install new apps to the TVs, which could pave the way to the installation of malware.

Consumer Reports has found millions of smart TVs from major manufacturers can be controlled by hackers exploiting easy to-find security vulnerabilities.

"There is no security risk to our customers' accounts or the Roku platform", Roku. Roku said that its External Control feature can be turned off in settings closing this door on hackers.

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However thankfully the vulnerabilities weren't severe enough where it could extract more sensitive information or monitor what the user was watching, but it can be rather disturbing for someone who has no idea what is going on.

Apparently, the hackers were able to use Roku's own feature to hack its unit. And if you got one on a zero-interest-for-18-months deal, then give yourself an even bigger pat on the back. However, the process by which people agree is often murky, Consumer Reports says, and it often leads to less functionality. You can turn that feature off, though it will affect some of your TV's functions. Other TV makers using Roku's software include Hisense, Hitachi, Insignia, Philips, RCA, and Sharp, all of which could be affected in addition to some of Roku's streaming media devices, the publication said.

To find out more about what you can do to protect your personal privacy, and limit the amount of data your smart TV is collecting about you, you can go to Consumer Reports.org for instructions specific to your TV.

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That's according to Consumer Reports, which released results on Wednesday of a security review of certain smart TVs, the name given to Internet-connected televisions. That information, along with demographics data including sex, age, income, marital status and home ownership, was sold to third parties who used it for targeting advertising and other purposes, the agencies charged.

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