Internet of Things – Keeping Devices Safe
You Might Already Be a Star! But Beware! You May Not Like Fame!
Ever wanted to be a movie star? How about a porn star? Or a viral internet sensation?
It could happen. In fact, it may already have happened. And you might not even know it.
How? Most people know that malware can take over a webcam. But do you know that hackers have been caught taking control of unsuspecting peoples’ Smart TV — and getting footage of said people in, er, in flagrante delicioso, shall we say?
So the next time you and your partner are sitting in front of the boob tube you might consider moving to the bedroom, otherwise you might see your actual boobs on the tube.
Laura Higgins works for the Revenge Porn Helpline said, ‘… one couple who were filmed making love in their living room through their smart TV by someone who had taken control of it. The footage just appeared on a website.’ There was no request for ransom, no identifiable link to the victim of the footage. “The conclusion… it was a random attack– we just don’t know.” commented Higgins.
And until this couple’s friends saw the footage, they had no idea it was out there. It’s enough to make an individual contemplate a bikini wax and a three day fast before saddling up for the next rodeo– because the whole world could be watching.
Today’s Smart TVs have built-in webcam capabilities. So it’s important now to think about securing it to prevent embarrassing cyber-attacks. These attacks don’t have to be sophisticated– in fact, C- grade cyber wannabes can from hacking help on sites like GitHub that actually provide the software.
This problem is likely to grow. And no doubt money will soon be demanded as ransom from people caught in any kind of act that could cause potential for embarrassment. It goes without saying that it need not be couples perched in front of the television having pleasurable moments while watching… whatever.
Want to avoid this? Here are some tips on keeping your SmartTV from hackers:
- Disable the camera. With a built-in webcam you’ll likely have to disable it in settings. Or, for a very simple fix: put a sticker over the camera eye. Works for the FBI!
- Change your password. You did set a password for your SmartTV didn’t you? Change it to a strong one, with upper and lower case, and at least one random character.
- Set up a firewall. A good firewall will protect your entire home network.
- Watch downloads on your Smart TV– malware is out there! Yes indeed, there have been cases of malware infecting Smart TVs via the browser. Make sure the websites you visit are trusted, and watch links and downloads.
- Update the Software for Your Smart TV. Security updates, patches, and new firmware that comes from the manufacturer is important to update as they become available. Check regularly, and download to protect yourself.
- Beware strangers while browsing on your Smart TV. And don’t open links from them! Make sure to tell the kids, too.
- Install a good VPN – like https://SlickVPN.com. People who know you, or know about you, may well know to target you. Not only will a VPN ensure that all the browsing you do online will be completely anonymous– because a VPN encrypts your connection and conceals your real IP address– but a VPN also replaces your IP address with a random one from its server network. And your IP address will have a completely different geo location. This makes it much harder for hackers to find where you are– much less find your webcam.
If you do become a victim of an attack, you can contact the cyber civil rights website in the US for advice on how to proceed.