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Black Friday smart TVs are a hackers portal to your home, FBI warns

The FBI has warned the public that hackers can get into their new smart TVs

By: Jak Connor from Dec 2, 2019 @ 2:46 CST

The Black Friday sales just finished and just like every year a lot of people decided to pick up a new TV while they were heavily discounted. Now, the FBI has warned the public that the smart TV they just bought could possibly be hacked.


Since Black Friday has just finished, many participants in the sales would have grabbed a new snazzy TV for their family living room. While that is certainly a most-welcomed upgrade, it does come with a considerable potential downside. Since recently purchased TVs are smart TVs, they are designed to be connected to the internet for a means of accessing streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. Since they connected to the internet, that means they can be hacked.

A lot of the smart TVs being sold also have microphone and camera support, so if a hacker were somehow able to access your TV, they would be able to activate the TV's microphone and camera to listen in and watch you. FBI's Portland field office has warned of this very thing, saying that "Beyond the risk that your TV manufacturer and app developers may be listening and watching you, that television can also be a gateway for hackers to come into your home."

The statement continues, "A bad cyber actor may not be able to access your locked-down computer directly, but it is possible that your unsecured TV can give him or her an easy way in the backdoor through your router." Since smart TVs don't have the same level of network protection as computers or smartphones, they could be used as an entry point into your network. Once the hacker has entered the network, other devices become susceptible, as well.

This form of hacking isn't very common, but as protection increases for other devices, hackers will be looking for alternative ways to access people's networks.

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