Samsung TV Malware Protection Is Just The Beginning

Image: Samsung

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.

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.


Comments

    A lot of newer Smart TVs are running Android and have flashable BIOS, so malware and viruses would be similar to anything you could catch on a mobile.

    Virus protection on a tv is not a selling point.

    Only an idiot would believe it is.
    But only an idiot to buy a smart tv.

      Except that buying a TV without "smart" features is getting harder. My general rule is to turn wi-fi off.

        Buying a smart TV aside from being almost mandatory now, isn't for idiots. Netflix, Stan etc all have apps. So yeah Smart TVs are actually useful.

        What I don't understand is how it's "hard" to protect a TV. Just design it so that it's literally impossible to install something from the internet without interacting with the remote. Basically sandbox apps and content you interact with unless you're explicitly choosing to install a bios update.

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