In the past we have reported on instances where smart TVs have been found to be “spying” on its users, and a new report published by Consumer Reports certainly doesn’t do anything to boost our confidence because based on their findings, it seems that Samsung and Roku smart TVs appear to be vulnerable to hacking.
The report is part a broad privacy and security evaluation led by Consumer Reports and it looked into various smart TV brands including LG, Sony, and Vizio. Based on what they found, it seems that TV sets by TCL (who makes some of Roku’s streaming media players) and Samsung had flaws in them, which allowed the researchers to remotely control the TV’s volume, cycle through channels, open YouTube content, knock the TV off the WiFi network, and so on.
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. Also to be fair, Samsung’s vulnerability was harder to exploit, according to Consumer Reports. When approached regarding the vulnerability, Samsung said that they are evaluating the issue, and that “We appreciate Consumer Reports’ alerting us to their potential concern.”