Menu
Android-powered smart TVs targeted by malicious apps

Android-powered smart TVs targeted by malicious apps

An old Android vulnerability is still present in many brands of smart TVs

Smart TVs running older versions of Android are being targeted by several websites offering apps containing malware, according to Trend Micro.

The security vendor wrote on Thursday that it found a handful of app websites targeting people in the U.S. and Canada by offering the malicious apps.

The apps are exploiting a flaw in Android that dates to 2014, showing that many smart TVs do not have the latest patches.

"Most smart TVs today use older versions of Android, which still contain this flaw," wrote Ju Zhu, a mobile threats analyst with Trend. "While most mobile Android devices can easily be upgraded to the latest version, upgrading smart TV sets may be more challenging for users because they are limited by the hardware."

The vulnerable Android versions are Cupcake 1.5 through Kitkat 4.4W.2., Zhu wrote.

Security experts say that smart TVs could become attractive to cybercriminals since their operating systems are not updated as rigorously as desktop computers.

Smart TVs are rising in popularity and are essentially large versions of mobile phones. The devices have operating systems and networking capabilities and hardware features such as USB ports, all of which present opportunities for hackers.

The malicious apps exploit the Android vulnerability when a user downloads one. Zhu said TV users are lured to the app sites but didn't describe if there are other tricks involved in getting people to download the apps.

Once a malicious app is installed, it is possible for the attackers to install other apps on the smart TV.

The app websites do not use SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security), which encrypts the connection. It would be possible then for a second attacker to intercept the unencrypted connection and conduct a man-in-the-middle attack "in effect overriding the payload of the first attacker," Zhu wrote.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Reseller News honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand channel at the 2018 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards honoured standout individuals across seven categories, spanning Entrepreneur; Innovation; Rising Star; Shining Star; Community; Technical and Achievement.

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel
Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments