Cyber Threat Blog

Can my Internet connected TV get a virus?

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Yes, any Internet enabled device is susceptible to viruses, malware, or being hijacked by acybercriminal. Internet enabled devices are becoming increasingly popular and include items such as TVs, DVD players, thermostats, surveillance cameras, appliances, and home automation products.  They all have alinkage to the Internet that enables enhanced features with the device.

 

 

 

The apps running on these devices are often built on top of a version of the Linux operating system. We have found that the manufacturers of these devices typically have not been proactive issuing patches to correct newly identified vulnerabilities in the operating system or the apps they are running.  This limited patching opens up holes that can be exploited by hackers.

The lack of patching coupled with increases in computing power and capabilities of these devices make them an attractive target for cybercriminals. We recently encountered this upon setup of a new client where we observed that the client’s Internet enabled TV was compromised and attempting to call out to a malicious website.  The threat from these devices is here today and increasing in occurrences.

Groups are targeting these devices to use as part of a larger group of other compromised devices called a botnet.  They use these botnets to launch attacks aimed at knocking websites offline.  What is more worrisome is that cybercriminals are using these devices to steal personal information or invade your privacy.  In a recent case, a man hacked a baby monitor and screamed at a sleeping baby to wake up.  This is not an isolated case and more of these incidents are being reported in the press.  

Protecting yourself from these risks can pose a challenge, as anti-virus and anti-malware software are not commonly available for most Internet connected devices.  Not connecting these products to the Internet would keep you safe but then you lose all the advantages of these modern appliances.  For our clients, we use a custom configured hardware firewall and intrusion prevention system to protect them from these threats.

This solution allows our clients to enjoy many of the great features in Internet connected devices while reducing the risks posed from hooking them up to the Internet.  In addition, we continually monitor the traffic going to these devices which allows us to quickly identify and stop any new threats.

 


 John Riley is the Director of Cyber Intelligence at Private Client Cyber Security and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 

About Private Client Cyber Security

We provide enterprise grade cyber security services to professional practices and high net worth clients.

Founded by former defense industry executives who recognized that small to medium sized business are underserved by large cyber security companies.

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