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Internet enabled high definition televisions equipped with video cameras may be hacked, warns New York Senator Chuck Schumer. He has written a letter to TV makers asking them to adopt new security within these Smart TVs to protect against hacking and spying on TV owners.

More info after the jump…

iSEC Partners, an Internet security research firm, reported at the Black Hat Security conference last week in Las Vegas of their successful hacking of 2012 Samsung Smart TV. This enabled them to control the television’s camera, web browser, and other functions. iSEC subsequently contacted Samsung, which in turn came up with a fix through a firmware update to plug the hole in their affected HDTV models, according to published reports.

Senator Schumer wrote in a press release “Many of these smart televisions are vulnerable to hackers who can spy on you while you’re watching TV in your living room. Our computers have access to firewalls and other security blocks but these televisions do not and that’s why manufacturers should do everything possible to create a standard of security in their internet-connected products.”

Schumer adds. “‘Smart’ televisions can be connected to the internet and come equipped with microphones and cameras. Recently, security researchers found that a major problem in models of the 2012 Samsung Smart TVs. Security researchers were able to tap into the TV’s web browser and gain access to the TV’s built-in-camera unbeknown to the TV’s owner. Additionally, the researchers were able to hack into the browser and lead the users to any website. In essence, ‘smart’ televisions have the same features as modern computers and laptops but lack the security features like firewalls, making them vulnerable to hackers.”

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Sen. Schumer sent this letter to the major TV companies, including Samsung, LG, Sony, and others asking them to voluntarily “work to develop a uniform set of safety and security standards so hackers cannot break into our TVs.”

2013 camera equipped HDTVs are available from LG, Panasonic and Samsung. All such models have tilting mechanisms to deactivate and re-aim the built-in camera to the ceiling or pop down and recess into the television for added piece of mind.

HD Guru first brought up the likely specter of Smart TVs cameras and functions being hacked in our article “Is your TV watching you? ” published in March of 2012 .

The complete press release and letter  Sen. Schumer- Your TV May Be Spying on You


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