TVs from Sony, Samsung, LG, Vizio and TCL, which makes sets branded as "Roku" models. Without much effort, a hacker could take control of a flawed smart TV, change channels, mess with the volume, install apps and play inappropriate content from those apps. This could be done over the web, from thousands of miles away.
It sounds like Roku just might have set up the pranksters out there with the ideal way to mess with their friends, family, or significant others.
The Consumer Reports test hacked into the TCL/Roku TV by using a feature Roku created that allows for remote control access of the Roku, software which could be used, for instance, to let you use your iPhone as a remote.
It said that "every smart TV we evaluated asked for permission to collect viewing data and other kinds of information".
VP Gary Ellison wrote: "Consumer Reports issued a report saying that Roku TVs and players are vulnerable to hacking".
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Lee Neikirk, who reviews TVs for Reviewed.com, a sister unit of USA TODAY, says manufacturers have to do a better job informing the public about the data being collected from them on smart TVs. "Samsung smart TVs attempt to ensure that only authorized applications can control the television", Goodale said.
According to Consumer Reports, millions of smart TVs are at risk of being compromised as they come with easy-to-find flaws that hackers can exploit. 'This means that even extremely unsophisticated hackers can take control of Rokus. "It's less of a locked door and more of a see-through curtain next to a neon 'We're open!' sign".
"There is no security risk to our customers' accounts or the Roku platform with the use of this API", Roku said, adding that customers could turn off this particular remote control feature. The Samsung flaw was more hard to exploit and had specific circumstances needed to work. He argued that Samsung smart TVs ensure owners that just authorized applications are able to control the TV.
Eason Goodale is the Disconnect lead engineer. "It's as though once you unlocked your door, the door would never lock again". A year ago, Vizio agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle claims from the Federal Trade Commission and the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General over collecting viewing data without consumers' consent. The feature LivePlus, this is the one you want to turn off. If customers do not agree to even the most basic privacy policies, the smart TV reverts to being a non-smart TV, with viewing only available through an antenna or cable box and not through services that require an internet connection.