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Millions of smart TVs vulnerable to 'red button' attack

The 'red button attack' has left millions of devices vulnerable to cyberattacks, researchers note.

Published Mon, Jun 9 2014 3:45 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:16 PM CST

Internet-enabled smart TVs can be compromised quickly and effectively by hackers, using the "red button attack" aimed at compromising users by sending spam and launching attacks. Hackers also have had success by hijacking built-in audio and video into smart TVs, the researchers warn. Any smart TV that is utilizes the hybrid broad-cast broadband (HbbTV) standard is vulnerable to the exploit - which is the majority of TVs in Europe, and about to become even more prevalent in the United States.

Millions of smart TVs vulnerable to 'red button' attack | TweakTown.com

"For this attack you do not need an Internet address, you do not need a server," said Yossef Oren, Network Security Lab researcher from Columbia University. "You just need a roof and an antenna and once you are done with your attack, there's completely no trace of you."

The Internet of Things is expected to explode in popularity, but anti-virus and additional security measures need to be in place to keep devices secure. After first discovering the flaw in late 2013, it wasn't seen as widespread enough to change the standard - but security experts are finally paying attention.

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An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog, AlamedaTech.com, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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