Smart TV

Business activity tied to the Internet of Things will reach almost $10 trillion by 2020, IDC says.

Google’s Nest Labs Joins Race to Define Platform for the Internet of Things – NYTimes.com

The New York Time’s BITS blog has an interesting look at the companies that are gearing up to compete against Google in the home automation market.   Google has picked up its investment in so-called “smart home” technology, from the acquisition of Nest, the smart thermostat maker, and DropCam a maker of wireless cameras used for home monitoring and surveillance. The Times notes the entry of firms like Quirky, which has the backing of major retailers like Home Depot and manufacturers like General Electric, Honeywell and Philips. That company announced a new spin-off firm, Wink, that will focus on software. There’s also (of course) Apple, which last week announced HomeKit, a new platform for home automation products that leverages the company’s iOS mobile platform. For its part, Google and Nest have alliances with companies like Whirlpool, Jawbone and Mercedes-Benz. The company seems to be focusing on getting cool products to market that […]

For Smart TVs, Malware May Hide In Broadcast Content

For Smart TVs, Malware May Hide In Broadcast Content

Researchers at Columbia University have published research showing how new technology that combines broadband and broadcast content could enable a wide range of traditional and novel cyber attacks on smart televisions and other devices: forcing them to interact with malicious web pages, harvesting credentials or carrying out denial of service attacks. The paper, published in May, explores potential attacks on combined broadcast-broadband devices that use an industry specification called Hybrid Broadcast-Broadband Television (HbbTV). According to the researchers, Yossef Oren and Angelos D. Keromytis, the HbbTV specification combines broadband technologies like HTML and broadcast features in an insecure manner. The vulnerabilities affect a wide range of smart entertainment devices, including smart televisions, in Europe and the United States. “This enables a large-scale exploitation technique with a localized geographical footprint based on radio frequency (RF) injection, which requires a minimal budget and infrastructure and is remarkably difficult to detect,” the researchers write. “The technical complexity and […]

A firmware update for LG SmartTVs asks users to agree to have their viewing habits monitored - or lose 'smart' features in their TVs.

Bad Actor: With Update, LG Says No Monitoring, No Smart TV!

Customers of consumer electronics giant LG are raising alarm about a recent software update that asks owners to agree to have their viewing behavior tracked and monitored, or see their ‘smart’ TVs made dumb: with access to features like YouTube and Netflix disabled. Owners of some models of LG brand SmartTVs who have applied a recent firmware have taken to blogs to complain about a firmware update for their TVs that prompt them to agree to lengthy new Terms of Service and Privacy Agreements. The revised documents grant LG permission to monitor and record their viewing habits and their interactions with the device, including voice commands. Users who do not agree to the new terms find many of their smart TV features disabled, according to customer testimony and an analysis by one independent IT researcher. The prompt to read and accept a new “Legal Notice,” “Terms of Use” and “Privacy Policy” appears when SmartTV users first […]

Pew: IoT Will Take Off By 2025, Despite Security Woes

Pew: IoT Will Take Off By 2025, Despite Security Woes

A survey of technology experts by the Pew Research Center and Elon University predicts that the Internet of Things will take off in the next decade despite serious concerns about the security of IoT devices and the data they hold. The IoT will gain wide adoption in the next decade, with the result that many aspects of day-to-day life will be transformed by a combination of inexpensive sensors, cloud based computing and data analytics. The report cites a number of likely innovations that will become commonplace by 2025 – from “smart” food products that can report when they are exhausted or spoiled, to smart roads and infrastructure to “subcutaneous sensors or chips that provide patients’ real-time vital signs to self-trackers and medical providers.” The Pew Center canvassed more than 1600 technology leaders and analysts about the Internet of Things and published the findings of the survey on Wednesday. The survey population included […]

When The Internet of Things Attacks! Parsing The IoT Botnet Story

When The Internet of Things Attacks! Parsing The IoT Botnet Story

I spent most of last week at a conference in Florida going deep on the security of critical infrastructure – you know: the software that runs power plants and manufacturing lines. (More to come on that!) While there, the security firm Proofpoint released a statement saying that it had evidence that a spam botnet was using “Internet of Things” devices. The company said on January 16 that a spam campaign totaling 750,000 malicious emails originated with a botnet made up of “more than 100,000 everyday consumer gadgets” including home networking routers, multi media centers, televisions and at least one refrigerator.” Proofpoint claims it is the “first time the industry has reported actual proof of such a cyber attack involving common appliances.” [Read: “Missing in action at Black Hat: the PC.”] Heady stuff – but is it true? It’s hard to know for sure. As with all these reports, it’s important […]