“Consumer Reports has found that millions of smart TVs can be controlled by hackers exploiting easy-to-find security flaws,” Consumer Reports reports. “The problems affect Samsung televisions, along with models made by TCL and other brands that use the Roku TV smart-TV platform, as well as streaming devices such as the Roku Ultra.”

“We found that a relatively unsophisticated hacker could change channels, play offensive content, or crank up the volume, which might be deeply unsettling to someone who didn’t understand what was happening. This could be done over the web, from thousands of miles away. (These vulnerabilities would not allow a hacker to spy on the user or steal information),” CR reports. “The findings were part of a broad privacy and security evaluation, led by Consumer Reports, of smart TVs from top brands.”

“This is the first time Consumer Reports has carried out a test based on our new Digital Standard, which was developed by CR and partner cybersecurity and privacy organizations to help set expectations for how manufacturers should handle privacy, security, and other digital rights,” CR reports. “The goal is to educate consumers on their privacy and security options and to influence manufacturers to take these concerns into consideration when developing their products.”

“Smart TVs can identify every show you watch using a technology called automatic content recognition, or ACR, which we first reported on in 2015. That viewing information can be combined with other consumer information and used for targeted advertising, not only on your TV but also on mobile phones and computers,” CR reports. “We discovered flaws in sets from TCL and Samsung… The TCL vulnerability applies to devices running the Roku TV platform—including sets from other companies such Hisense, Hitachi, Insignia, Philips, RCA, and Sharp — as well as some of Roku’s own streaming media players, such as the Ultra.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Caveat emptor.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Whit D.” for the heads up.]