Are TVs, DVRs Vulnerable To Hacking?

Ready yourself for more media hacking --- attacks nearly every modern Internet-connected device, your computer, car, home heating/cooling systems, and, of course, even traditional TV.

As an advertising/media executive you have worries about transparency, bots, and various media frauds. There’s much more to come -- apparently -- for everyone. 

We already had one TV manufacturer, Samsung, shutting down its voice remote control effort where it capture private conversations. We already know hackers can infiltrate cameras on laptops. (Yes, I haven’t shaved this morning!)

So try to imagine something less invasive -- like hacking into your DVR. Right now, security experts are concerned about Internet-accessible digital video recorders (DVRs) that are used to monitor and record video streams from surveillance cameras in homes and businesses. But now think bigger. 



“People can use computers from far away networks to attack the locks on your doors, your HVAC/air conditioning systems, your refrigeration systems, all sorts of really scary things,” said Amit Yoran, computer/network security executive on CNBC.

Does that count home DVRs people use to watch TV programming? Why, not?

Would that mean a hacker would be adding TV programs to my library or subtracting from it? Would that boost TV viewing data for a particular TV researcher or a typical network? What insight would it give for such a person to know that on my DVR I have ten last-season episodes of Fox’s “MasterChef”?

This begs the question: Why is there a lack of security in so many devices? Because we like stuff real cheap. 

“They are produced for pocket change,” says Yoran. And right now consumers and corporations haven’t as yet demanded increase security protections. 

Estimates are there will be 10 billion devices connected to the home, industry and government networks in a couple of years. That means open season for media hackers/hunters. 

For some years now, access to personal information on digital/online media has been a likely/easy target. Somewhat “softer” devices -- in cars, home heating systems, traditional TVs/DVRs -- are next. 

Maybe your Internet-connected robotic vacuum is cleaning up more than you know.

1 comment about "Are TVs, DVRs Vulnerable To Hacking?".
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  1. Michael Elling from IVP Capital, LLC, October 4, 2016 at 7:16 a.m.

    The IP Stack lacks integrated settlements.  Settlements serve as price signals which provide incentives and disincentives.  The moment we introduce a terminating settlement we dramatically increase the cost for the bad gals and attacks will go down dramatically.  At the same time we provide incentives for all the endpoints to upgrade in a more coordinated fashion.

    The informational stack is full of cause and effect and unintended consequences. Heck the internet itself is the perfect example of that.  Security can be addressed by adding costs for the bad, not good, gals.

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