Smart TVs have become extremely common in the last few years; it is even difficult to buy a new TV without smart functionality. Having Netflix streaming built into your TV can be convenient, but connecting your TV to the internet might not be the best idea. The FBI issued a warning this week regarding smart TVs and the risks associated with including your TV in the often poorly secured Internet of Things pool. The warning includes successful attack results ranging from minor annoyances like attacker being able to change the channel to major privacy invasions such as being able to record video and sound of you and your home.
Beyond using the TV to spy on you an attacker may just use it as a starting point into your private network to attack other devices containing more valuable information. Smart TVs fall into the IoT device category which includes a history of poorly secured and vulnerable devices. Some botnets, like Mirai, targeted IoT devices specifically due to their security reputation. Some TVs create their own wifi or Bluetooth network to enable file sharing or control from proximity devices. These can provide a bridge of sorts for a local attacker onto a network they shouldn’t have access to.