Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hacking Smart TV's

An article from the Daily Mail warns about how easy it is to hack into "smart televisions" to steal consumer data, transactions (such as pay-on-demand), or even hack into cameras on televisions. Some of the monitoring had been by the manufacturers. One brand identified in particular was LG, a South Korean brand, which apparently was siphoning data from its televisions. From the article:
There, the electronics company appeared to be using its customers’ data to make money. A promotional video shown to commercial clients suggested that data was being used to provide ‘the ad experience you have always dreamed of’. 
The information Huntley’s TV had sent — without his knowledge — included the contents of his private digital video collection, which he’d watched on the television. This included camcorder footage of family celebrations containing images of his wife and two young children. 
Most worrying of all, the device continued sending such information to Korea even after Huntley had adjusted the television’s default settings to ‘opt out’ of data sharing.
Apparently the data was used by LC for purposes of "targeted advertising." The article goes on to note the greater danger of criminal hackers obtaining financial information:

Gangs based largely in Eastern Europe and Russia, meanwhile, are already using so-called ‘data-mining’ programmes to trawl the internet looking for smart TVs in which owners have entered their credit card details. A single search can yield thousands of results. 
According to Roger Grimes, who has written eight books on IT security and worked in the field for 28 years, the gangs then sell lists of hacked credit card numbers to fellow criminals. 
Card details that were obtained within the past 24 hours sell for around £2.20 each. Older ones are cheaper because there is more chance the cards could have been changed or stopped.

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