Consumer Reports' Says Roku, Samsung Smart TVs Have Security Vulnerabilities

Roku’s streaming media players have a bug that could let hackers gain control of the devices Consumer Reports researchers found

Roku’s streaming media players have a bug that could let hackers gain control of the devices Consumer Reports researchers found

TVs vulnerable to these hacks include Samsung and TCL smart TVs along with other brands that use the Roku platform.

According to the magazine, Roku and Samsung TVs are vulnerable to hacking and a hacker could play offensive content, crank up the volume and change channels through the web from thousands of miles away.

Consumer Reports notes that ACR is turned on during setup of the TV, via agreements with Sony, which makes the TV; Google, which provides the AndroidTV operating system; and Samba TV, a company that gathers analytics on viewers' habits that advertisers can use for targeted ad campaigns.

Millions of smart televisions may be vulnerable to hackers, according to Consumer Reports.

"What we found most disturbing about this was the relative simplicity of" hacking in, says Glenn Derene, Consumer Reports' senior director of content. The reports found that millions of Roku devices and Samsung smart TVs can be controlled by hackers. However, the good news is that these security flaws can not enable hackers to steal your personal information or spy on you. There is no security risk to our customers' accounts or to the Roku platform as stated by Consumer Reports. Specialists have revealed some flaws which allow hackers to easily access them. Additionally, to use the feature, you have to be on the same Wi-Fi system, and Roku suggests users have password-protected Wi-Fi to prevent security breaches. Consumers opt for them because they save people the hassle of changing their settings when they want to stream media from the Internet. "This happens because many smart TV's have a programming interface, called an API, that lets you use for smartphone or tablet as a remote control over WiFi", said Rerecich. Until then, keep being smart about what you click online.

It also says "a constant stream of viewing data will be collected through automatic content recognition" and encourages viewers to turn the feature off. And while you may have no problem inputting your information into these sets, Consumer Reports says you should be concerned that more is being captured about you than you might be aware. To find out more about what you can do to protect your personal privacy, and limit the amount of data your smart TV is collecting about you, here is a link to Consumer Reports' website.

Consumer Reports says there's an easy fix. And, to be fair, streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are already tracking what you watch. Before collecting any information from consumers, we always ask for their consent, and we make every effort to ensure that data is handled with the utmost care.

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