Samsung has been getting some flak over its decision to include malware protection software on its smart TVs. On one hand, offering some level of protection to an internet-connected device seems pretty sensible. On the other, it begs the question of what kind of malware can run on a Samsung TV.
Both views seems reasonable, if a little contradictory. Are there real vulnerabilities and exploits to be concerned about or is Samsung being proactive?
There were reports a couple of years ago that the CIA created an exploit called ‘Weeping Angel’ that could turn some smart TVs into listening devices. One assumes that if the CIA can do it than threat actors are just as capable.
Scanning your computer for malware viruses is important to keep it running smoothly. This also is true for your QLED TV if it's connected to Wi-Fi!
Prevent malicious software attacks on your TV by scanning for viruses on your TV every few weeks. Here's how ???? pic.twitter.com/7hWUfJwy1K
— Samsung Support USA (@SamsungSupport) June 17, 2019
The reality is that almost any device you connect your network to is a potential point of ingress for a sufficiently resourced, patient and motivated hacker. And that means you need to take steps to protect the devices on your network. Samsung is offering malware protection, HP has been bolstering security on its printers with firmware protection and intrusion detection systems and many home and small office networking vendors have been partnering with security companies to integrate security into routers.
The reality is that you should be taking precautions to protect all the devices on your network. But that’s still too hard in my view. I’ve been running a Dlink D-Fend AC2600 router for a while now and it boasts security features through a partnership between Dlink and McAfee. It seems to work but I’ve got no way of telling if it’s really securing my network as it doesn’t tell me much of what’s going on, other than my NAS seems a little ‘chatty’ occasionally .
Samsung’s announcement that it now boasts virus protection for its Tizen-based smart TVs is not a bad thing. But It really highlights that not enough is being done across the board to secure connected devices.