Tags: fbi | smart | tv | camera | cybersecurity

FBI Warns: Hackers Can Spy on You Through Your Smart TV

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Sony BRAVIA televisions are on display during the Appliance & Electronics World Expo in Shanghai, China. New business covering artificial intelligence, automotive electronics, sensor, wearable and smart home will become new growth catalysts for Sony. (Imaginechina via AP Images)

By    |   Friday, 29 November 2019 08:14 AM

Smart TVs are on a lot of Black Friday shoppers' list of doorbusters, but the FBI is warning that hackers may be able to spy on owners through their built-in cameras and microphones. 

"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," the FBI's Portland, Oregon field office said in a notice while offering tips for making smart TV sets more secure. 

"A bad cyber actor may not be able to access your locked-down computer directly, but it is possible that your unsecured TV can give him or her an easy way in the backdoor through your router," the notice added. 

Some smart TV models include built-in cameras to be used for video chatting or even to allow the television to recognize who is watching and to suggest programming based on that person's past preferences, reports Fox Business

However, hackers may be able to access the sets through the internet and spy on people through the camera and microphone, and even change channels, adjust the volume, and fli the channel to show "inappropriate videos," according to the FBI.

A hacker can even use an unsecured TV to access an owner's router and gain access to computers or other devices, the FBI noted. 

The agency recommends:

  • Owners should search for the TV's exact model number online and see if the device's description uses words like camera, microphone, or privacy, and learn how to control those features.  
  • Do not use the default option when leaving security settings, and check to see how to turn off cameras, microphones, and personal data collection. If those features can't be turned off, consider buying a different model. 
  • Use a piece of black tape over the camera's eye to block it from being used if the camera can't be shut off. 
  • Learn if the manufacturer updates the device with security patches. 
  • Learn the privacy policy for the manufacturer and any streaming services, such as Netflix, and determine what data they collect, how it is stored, and if it's shared. 

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Smart TVs are on a lot of Black Friday shoppers' list of doorbusters, but the FBI is warning that hackers may be able to spy on owners through their built-in cameras and microphones. 
fbi, smart, tv, camera, cybersecurity
354
2019-14-29
Friday, 29 November 2019 08:14 AM
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