by Robert Siciliano

New Consumer Electronics Security Lacking

Jan 20, 2011

Early adopters of new technology often discover bugs, quirks, imperfections, and security issues before a product is widely adopted. That’s why I usually wait six to eight months for companies to fix their flaws.

Researchers discovered they could hack into Internet-ready HDTV’s. One of the top five best-selling TVs left its security process vulnerable to attack, allowing a hacker to compromise the data transmitted between the TV and websites that provide content. The report states that any website could be spoofed, and the spoofed site made to appear onscreen. The fake site could resemble a video download site, for example, and request credit card information for a movie purchase. Researchers also found that they were able to monitor data being sent from the TV to the Internet.

The New York Times reports:

“[This] test also illustrates what security experts have long warned: that the arrival of Internet TVs, smartphones and other popular Web-ready gadgets will usher in a new era of threats by presenting easy targets for hackers. As these devices become more popular, experts say, consumers can expect to run into familiar scams like credit card number thefts as well as new ones that play off features in the products. And because the devices are relatively new, they do not yet have as much protection as more traditional products, like desktop computers, do.”

Proposed solutions include software fixes and biometric authenticators, such as fingerprint readers and facial recognition technologies. Intel, the chip maker, recently bought McAfee a security software company , saying that they plan to incorporate McAfee’s security into gadget hardware.

In the meantime, consider waiting it out before you jump in. If already own this type of TV, be cognizant of the scam and beware of unauthorized charges to your card.

Robert Siciliano, personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto, discusses another databreach on Fox News. Disclosures