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Your T.V. might be watching YOU

Jango

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Today's high-end televisions are almost all equipped with "smart" PC-like features, including Internet connectivity, apps, microphones and cameras. But a recently discovered security hole in some Samsung Smart TVs shows that many of those bells and whistles aren't ready for prime time.

The flaws in Samsung Smart TVs, which have now been patched, enabled hackers to remotely turn on the TVs' built-in cameras without leaving any trace of it on the screen. While you're watching TV, a hacker anywhere around the world could have been watching you. Hackers also could have easily rerouted an unsuspecting user to a malicious website to steal bank account information.

Samsung quickly fixed the problem after security researchers at iSEC Partners informed the company about the bugs. Samsung sent a software update to all affected TVs.

But the glitches speak to a larger problem of gadgets that connect to the Internet but have virtually no security to speak of.

Security cameras, lights, heating control systems and even door locks and windows are now increasingly coming with features that allow users to control them remotely. Without proper security controls, there's little to stop hackers from invading users' privacy, stealing personal information or spying on people.

In the case of Samsung Smart TVs, iSEC researchers found that they could tap into the TV's Web browser with ease, according to iSEC security analyst Josh Yavor. That gave hackers access to all the functions controlled by the browser, including the TV's built-in camera.

"If there's a vulnerability in any application, there's a vulnerability in the entire TV," said Aaron Grattafiori, also an analyst at iSEC.
Your TV might be watching you - Aug. 1, 2013

An older article: The CIA wants to spy on you through your TV: Agency director says net-connected gadgets will 'transform' surveillance | Mail Online

Ironically, I've heard on the T.V. from several people on news programs that the age of privacy is over. It certainly feels that way when a person (if they have the right kind of T.V.) just wants to watch some television and they're (potentially) being spied on by someone somewhere for some reason unknown to the T.V. watcher.
 

TiredOfLife

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Your TV might be watching you - Aug. 1, 2013

An older article: The CIA wants to spy on you through your TV: Agency director says net-connected gadgets will 'transform' surveillance | Mail Online

Ironically, I've heard on the T.V. from several people on news programs that the age of privacy is over. It certainly feels that way when a person (if they have the right kind of T.V.) just wants to watch some television and they're (potentially) being spied on by someone somewhere for some reason unknown to the T.V. watcher.
Screw the watching. When it can get me a beer and let the dog out then I will care.
 

The General

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Your TV might be watching you - Aug. 1, 2013

An older article: The CIA wants to spy on you through your TV: Agency director says net-connected gadgets will 'transform' surveillance | Mail Online

Ironically, I've heard on the T.V. from several people on news programs that the age of privacy is over. It certainly feels that way when a person (if they have the right kind of T.V.) just wants to watch some television and they're (potentially) being spied on by someone somewhere for some reason unknown to the T.V. watcher.
You are just now finding out, I have know for years that a tv could tell how many people were watching it at any given time. Now I want to know were the device is so I can remove it. Beside ours is just a HD computer monitor. We use it to watch Netflix mostly.
 

TiredOfLife

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You are just now finding out, I have know for years that a tv could tell how many people were watching it at any given time. Now I want to know were the device is so I can remove it. Beside ours is just a HD computer monitor. We use it to watch Netflix mostly.
Hope you don't have a camera on the thing? Just because the red light isn't on doesn't mean it isn't.
 

americanwoman

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Damn I was just joking and said the same thing the other night. We have noticed on the last three new TV's we've gotten, all different brands, very occasionally a little green light flashes in the top left side. It did it again the other night and my husband was like wtf is that and I said that its watching us ooohhhh. Maybe I was right after all. :)
 

clownboy

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You are just now finding out, I have know for years that a tv could tell how many people were watching it at any given time. Now I want to know were the device is so I can remove it. Beside ours is just a HD computer monitor. We use it to watch Netflix mostly.
Heh, it's in the cheapo box tuner that all cable and satellite folks make you use instead of that expensive tuner you paid for with the TV.
 

Bob Blaylock

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Your TV might be watching you - Aug. 1, 2013

An older article: The CIA wants to spy on you through your TV: Agency director says net-connected gadgets will 'transform' surveillance | Mail Online

Ironically, I've heard on the T.V. from several people on news programs that the age of privacy is over. It certainly feels that way when a person (if they have the right kind of T.V.) just wants to watch some television and they're (potentially) being spied on by someone somewhere for some reason unknown to the T.V. watcher.
It's been a while since i read it, but I think I remember that in Orwell's 1984, televisions were used in exactly this way—they were two-way devices, that served not only to broadcast the government's propaganda to each viewer, but also had cameras and microphones to allow government to spy on anyone in the vicinity of the TV.

It seems to me that as a matter of common sense, TVs should not have cameras or microphones built into them; and if they do, there should be a simple, solid means of turning them off, that leaves no doubt that they are turned off and inoperative; such as a switch that physically, electrically disconnects the camera and microphone, or an opaque cover that closes over the camera.
 

rocket88

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This sounds like a very bad "In Soviet Russia" joke.....I don't think people had this in mind when they said they wanted the government to listen to them.

In Russia, you listen to NSA!
 

Henrin

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To protect, serve and spy on.
 

Jango

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You are just now finding out, I have know for years that a tv could tell how many people were watching it at any given time. Now I want to know were the device is so I can remove it. Beside ours is just a HD computer monitor. We use it to watch Netflix mostly.
I've actually been aware for some time now (if you notice, my first source is dated 08/01/13). I think my second source in the OP may have alerted me to it, or an Wired article around the same time. I don't remember precisely when, but I've known longer than this threads existence.

I'm also aware of cable boxes watching T.V. viewers too.
 

VanceMack

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To give you even more happy thoughts...that built in camera on your laptop or desktop...

yeah...thats right.

Shame on you BTW! ;)
 

clownboy

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First thing I did when I got my grandchilden laptops - put electrical tape over the camera. My daughter bless her mean ole mommy's heart added superglue to the mix. :mrgreen:
 

nota bene

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Screw the watching. When it can get me a beer and let the dog out then I will care.
And yet you cared enough to post. Really, the affected ennui is becoming stale.
 

nota bene

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First thing I did when I got my grandchilden laptops - put electrical tape over the camera. My daughter bless her mean ole mommy's heart added superglue to the mix. :mrgreen:
Mean moms (and grandpas!) ftw!
 

nota bene

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Your TV might be watching you - Aug. 1, 2013

An older article: The CIA wants to spy on you through your TV: Agency director says net-connected gadgets will 'transform' surveillance | Mail Online

Ironically, I've heard on the T.V. from several people on news programs that the age of privacy is over. It certainly feels that way when a person (if they have the right kind of T.V.) just wants to watch some television and they're (potentially) being spied on by someone somewhere for some reason unknown to the T.V. watcher.
When I read about the Samsung TVs earlier today, my thoughts returned--as they so frequently do these days--to 1984.
 

Jango

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Here's another update:

Voice Recognition

You can control your SmartTV, and use many of its features, with voice commands.

If you enable Voice Recognition, you can interact with your Smart TV using your voice. To provide you the Voice Recognition feature, some voice commands may be transmitted (along with information about your device, including device identifiers) to a third-party service that converts speech to text or to the extent necessary to provide the Voice Recognition features to you. In addition, Samsung may collect and your device may capture voice commands and associated texts so that we can provide you with Voice Recognition features and evaluate and improve the features. Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition.
About SAMSUNG - SAMSUNG
 
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