A Smart TV device is either a television set with integrated Internet capabilities or a set-top box for television that offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary basic television set. Smart TV is a digital television that is, essentially, an Internet-connected, storage-aware computer especially for entertainment. Smart TVs support Ethernet, Wi-Fi, USB, Bluetooth and flash memory cards from digital cameras, as well as coaxial cable, HDMI and other audio-video connections. Along with the OS and apps, the connectors enable on demand video services and access to pictures, music and video on connected storage devices. Smart TV application allow connection to websites like YouTube and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Smart TV Hacking Thread Scenario
The most frequent attacks found on smart TVs are malware attacks. Smart TV providing features of installing application using external devices or by downloading it from the internet. But sometime these application may be vulnerable which can infect your smart TVs. Smart TVs allow user to connect with internet this could allow attacker to send adware through links which might be harmful. Smart TVs are facing lots of hacking attacks today, example of the same are enumerated below;
Man in the middle attack(MITM)
Attacker can carry MITM attack by using malwares; the man-in-the middle attack intercepts a communication between two systems. Attacker perform this by gaining access to Wi-Fi password or hijacking DNS requests. Once an attacker gets access in network it starts capturing packets. Once MITM attack is successful it would allow any potential hackers to intercept the sound, picture and accompanying data sent by the broadcaster using data packets. It could also potentially take control over any applications set up on the TV and launch attacks over the Internet.
Attacker can exploits vulnerabilities which are present in your smart TVs. Malicious code can be run on your smart TVs. to gain unauthorized access. Once the attacker successfully exploit your smart TV, it enables him to control your smart TV and can be create backdoor to maintain access in your Smart TV.
Denial of service attacks
Due to lack of security IoT devices are increasingly hijacked and used to launch Distributed Denial of Service attacks. Since smart Internet-connected TV has an IP, then there may come a day when cyber-crooks would use malware and chain a bunch of them together to form a TV-based botnet. This malware can infect and populate hundreds of millions of homes, creating powerful botnets for launching Denial of Service attacks.
Loss of sensitive data
Today credit card numbers and other information are stored on the smart TV for on-demand services and it can be hacked by the hackers. Users are also using email and social media from smart TVs but due to lack of security attacker can gain access in smart TVs database to steal sensitive data.
Social engineering and static media
Attackers are using Social Engineering which is a new way for hacking by sending link or showing advertisement. Smart TV software “decodes movie files and displays pictures, which can be malicious and capable of causing crashes or buffer overflows.
Many users smart TVs are set up to automatically check for updates and download them during the time when the device is idle. Smart TVs OS developers are regularly releasing patches, but if you are unable to install it then your system may be vulnerable to hacking attacks.
TV remote apps
Due to remote application, if attacker is on the same network, he can sniff an authenticated remote control device and replay the commands to, among other things, change channels, adjust the volume, or switch the TV off and can be perform DOS attack.
Why would Someone Hack Smart TV?
There are various reasons for hacking smart TVs, following are some examples of the same
Now hackers are using smart way for earning money by installing adware in smart TVs. The TVs remain switched on for long periods, because of the clicked ad running in the background without owner’s knowledge.
Attackers are always looking for vulnerable device for adding in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Attackers are looking for devices including smart TVs, routers, and zombie pcs.
Hackers are targeting smart TVs and stealing login credentials for gaining advantage of online streaming. It steal your sensitive data by using these credentials.
Ask for ransom
Smart hackers are using a rather convenient way to earn money by infecting system with ransomware and ask for ransom to decrypt the infected files.
Access to other connected devices
Hackers can target your home network and therein connected devices by compromising your smart TVs.
How to Protect Your Smart TVs
Right now, the risk to your smart TV is pretty low, but it is expected to increase as the TVs become more popular. Today no network device is secured, but you can take some precaution to protect your device. As smart TVs continue to gain in popularity cybercriminals will eventually start to target them. If you own a smart TV, protect it with the following tips;
Keep up on updates
To protect your smart TVs from exploitation always keep your smart TV up to date. If available, enable automatic updates to fix a security problem with your device.
Set up your network properly
Secure your network properly with strong passwords. Disable all default usernames and passwords.
Be careful with unexpected messages
Avoid clicking on unexpected messages, ads, and links as it could be a hacker’s work who is trying to access your device.
Cover the camera when not in use
Some smart TV provide a feature that cameras can be turned off or recessed into the TV when they aren’t in use. If this function not available, you can manually turn off your smart TV cameras.
Be careful while installing applications, avoid installing apps from untrustworthy sources, as it might be malicious, and if you have installed these apps it can be harmful for your TV.
Check license agreement
Back up your data
Always keep a backup of your data.
Use a reputable security suite
To fight with virus, malware and other security thread use reputed and updated antivirus software in your smart TVs.
Check apps permissions
Enable applications verification in the settings when possible, also check the app permissions.