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  • Samsung & Roku Smart TV's Vulnerable to Hacking

    Posted on WildBill Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Connected home / Internet of things Questions: Other home/IoT products Samsung & Roku Smart TV's Vulnerable to Hacking

    Topic Resolution: Not a Question

    This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  anonymous 1 year, 7 months ago.

    • Author
    • #166035 Reply

      AskWoody Plus I saw this yesterday, but it clicked when I was scanning the Connected Home/IoT forum. CR tested 5 smart TV’s based on its new Digital Standard. Their focus was on Security & Privacy; please read the article for a lot of good information & advice. Their Bottom Line to prevent any security problems & data collection: Buy a ‘dumb’ TV or make the Smart TV ‘dumb’ by turning off the TV’s WiFi connection. Problem, IMHO: CR rated nearly 200 Midsized & Large TV’s in 2017 & only 16 were ‘dumb’ (can’t connect to internet & stream). They expect less than that in 2018. They have advice to restrict data collection whether you are looking to buy a smart TV or already have one.

      Windows 8.1, 64-bit, leaning toward returning to Group A... & toward Windows 10 V1909. As long as it's a Lot Less Buggy!
      Wild Bill Rides Again...

      5 users thanked author for this post.
    • #166180 Reply


      There are a couple of caveats to the idea of turning off the wifi and making the item “dumb.”

      I read reports years ago of a TV (a Vizio?  Not sure) that, if you did not supply it with credentials to log into an access point, would decide on its own to look for open APs and associate with any that it found.  Just what I need… a TV that decides to quietly steal my neighbor’s internet bandwidth!

      The other one was reported by The Register a few weeks ago, where smart devices and other IoT things would come with cellular network connectivity that could not be switched off; the service would be paid for by the vendor in some kind of bulk deal with the cellular provider, so that any efforts to stop the phoning home become a lot more complicated.

      Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.0).

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #174981 Reply


        We bought a smart TV about a year ago. The first thing I did was to disable all connectivity functionality; I then set it to not even prompt for a password for my local wifi. In other words, it appears that I was successful in making it a “dumb” TV.

        If I would not have been able to disable the connectivity functionality, I would have brought it back and asked for a refund. This is one of the reasons I usually go to Walmart for stuff like this – they are really good at giving you your money back with no questions asked.

        In truth, a company which engages in this sort of spying needs to get hit with a massive class-action lawsuit. When I say “massive”, I mean “multi billion dollar”. The only way this is going to stop is if the price for doing it is intolerable.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
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        • #174996 Reply

          Da Boss

          Smart users are getting harder to come by these days 😉

          Our only smart device is a Samsung 3D DVD player which has never seen a wifi connection or an RJ45  cable, nor is it likely to.

          I prefer dumb devices where WE have the control, although SWMBO keeps misplacing the remote controls but. that’s another story..

          ********** Win7 x64/x86 | Win8.1 x64 | Linux Hybrids x64 **********

    • #166216 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      Both of those are scary; poaching WiFi if not directly connected & having cellular connectivity (at least 3G) to phone data home to the vendor. Links to any verifiable stories are welcome. As for Visio, the CR story links to an FTC blog entry relating that Visio got caught collecting viewing data without consumer consent. Visio not only collected data without consent, but sold viewing histories to advertisers & others. If the FTC & New Jersey’s Attorney General’s office hadn’t caught Visio, there probably wouldn’t be any data privacy standards, IMHO. Visio settled with the FTC & NJ AG for cash, &:

      “agreed to stop unauthorized tracking, to prominently disclose its TV viewing collection practices, and to get consumers’ express consent before collecting and sharing viewing information. In addition, the company must delete most of the data it collected and put a privacy program in place that evaluates Vizio’s practices and its partners.”

      Windows 8.1, 64-bit, leaning toward returning to Group A... & toward Windows 10 V1909. As long as it's a Lot Less Buggy!
      Wild Bill Rides Again...

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #175064 Reply


        Yes I often wonder if Samsung, Sony, LG and television manufactures were or are doing this? That fine Vizio received seems puny, maybe it should have been that 2.2 million plus the profits they made by selling that data.

    • #175058 Reply


      There is a market for “dumb” 4k televisions! I suppose folks could buy a quality 4k computer monitor if they do not want to use over the air transmissions and have an existing audio setup. Yeah reading that second sentence, looks silly doesn’t it?

    • #175062 Reply


      The smart way to have a “smart TV” is to turn off all connectivity functionality in the TV, then set up a computer next to it, and plug in the TV as an external monitor for the computer.

      Then get yourself a wireless keyboard and mouse.

      Now you can sit on the sofa, put the keyboard, mouse, and remote control on your coffee table, and have a smart “smart TV”.

      It is a lot safer to get on line with your computer than with your TV. That’s why I recommend that the TV be an external monitor, nothing more.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      1 user thanked author for this post.

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