On Black Friday, sales hit a record of $7.4 billion in the United States and one of the most popular items purchased were new smart TVs - TVs that have all of the streaming capabilities built into them. While that is certainly a most-welcomed upgrade, it does come with a considerable potential downside. With the arrival and growth of Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services, most TVs connected to the Internet were a cable cutter's dream.
They are internet connected so this is where the possible issues can start. The agency warned hackers can take control of unsecured TVs to cyber-stalk their end-users, for instance.
"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".
How to protect your smart TV from being hacked? Once the hacker has entered the network, other devices become susceptible, as well.
So what are the FBI's tips in order to better secure yourself having purchased a new smart TV for Black Friday?
Active attacks and exploits against smart TVs are rare, but not unheard of. A cybersecurity probe later found that the smart TV in his bedroom had been infiltrated by hackers and its in-built camera was used to capture the footage.
The FBI's Portland field office recently posted a blog on its website about the security threat that smart TVs pose, particular as it is an element of their design manufacturers may not pay as much attention to, according to the organisation.
Since every Smart TV comes with its manufacturer's own software, users are at the mercy of their capricious and erratic security patches.
Earlier this year, the Washington Post discovered that some of the most popular smart TV manufacturers, including Samsung and LG, collect tons of information about what users are seeing to help advertisers better target ads against their viewers. and suggest what to see next, for example.
Just in time for the holiday season, the Federal Bureau of Investigation posted a warning in a blog post last week cautioning users about the risks that are associated with Smart TVs. It's as simple as googling your model number along with the words "microphone", "camera", and "privacy". Second, they were instructed not to depend on the default security settings.
3-If you can't turn off a camera but want to, a simple piece of black tape over the camera eye is a back-to-basics option. And, as we've learned in the past, hardware companies that are making these internet-connected devices don't always make security their priority. If you are unable to disable them, take this into consideration when purchasing that particular TV model.