NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden told lawyers he met during his sojourn in Hong Kong to put their cell phones in his fridge to thwart any eavesdroppers.
But new research suggests he should have been worried about nearby TVs, too.Smart tellies with built-in microphones and storage can be turned into bugging devices by malware and used to record conversations, security experts at NCC Group said. And they demonstrated exactly that just down the road from the Infosec Europe conference, held in London.
"Installing the bugging software requires physical access to the device, which is how we did it, or by installing a malicious app," said Felix Ingram, principal consultant at NCC Group.
"Malicious apps could be downloaded from the manufacturer’s app store. The TV does have the option for auto-updating, so releasing a legitimate app, then releasing a malicious update, is another attack vector."
In other words, Ingram's research shows smart TVs can be abused in much the same way that dodgy apps on Android software stores hijack smartphones and tablets.
In the NCC demo, the internal storage of a smart TV was used to hold 30 seconds of audio, but a far longer buffer could be set up.
to read more: theregister.co.uk
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