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How to stop your Smart TV from spying on you

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Modern smart TVs often have “features” that inspect what you’re watching and report it back to some company’s servers. This data can be sold to marketers, or it could be tied to you somehow to create a better ad-targeting profile. Really, you’re not getting anything out of this — the TV manufacturer just makes some more money with this data. Vizio just made headlines because such a feature is  enabled by default on Vizio Smart TVs



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Things to consider when you're watching The Simpsons.



Recently I had a chance to do some experiments on a new generation smart TV to see how well it was secured against attacks. Within a short time I was looking at an ultimately unusable brand new TV infected with ransomware. Thankfully, there’s plenty to be learned from my tinkering. This blog will examine some of the security issues associated with smart TVs, including ways in which they can be attacked, why anyone would want to attack them, and what you can do to stop your TV from being attacked.



There are a variety of reasons why someone may want to attack a smart TV, of which, the following are some examples.


Click Fraud

Installing adware or malware that performs click fraud onto the TV could be a way for attackers to profit from infecting smart TVs. As the TVs remain switched on for long periods, constant ad-clicking in the background without the owner’s knowledge could generate cybercriminals affiliate revenue.



Infecting smart TVs with ransomware could potentially be a profitable attack scenario for cybercriminals. TVs can cost a lot of money and, as we’ve seen with PC and smartphone ransomware, the threat of losing access to our precious devices and the data they hold is enough to make many people pay up. Additionally, as I found out, this attack is trivial to carry out.



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