Unit 2 58-64 Carmen Rd

Hornby, Christchurch


Ransomware on Smart TVs

Ransomware on Smart TVs? Get ready- it is coming.

Many IT safety specialists named ransomware the biggest threat of 2016.Data safety is becoming an issue not only on smart phones, computers and tablets but also smart TVs. Symantec have recently demonstrated how easily ransomware attacks a smart TV and how difficult it is to get rid of it.

The company’s representative didn’t name the make and model of the TV tested but noted that it runs on modified Google Android software so widely used by TV manufactures.

Candid Wueest of Symantec used a primitive malware program which once installed started displaying a ransom message every couple of seconds blocking the TV screen.

Most ransomware affects Android OS TVs. The problem lies in the absence of SSL coding between the TV and remote servers that are used for OS installation and updates.

Wueest employed a simple MITM (Man-in-the-Middle) attack to plant the malware having substituted it for a gaming application. The application soon got the root rights and blocked the device.

Having planted the malware, Wueest explored ways of getting rid of it and discovered that it is impossible as the TV was blocked off and he could not reset it to the manufactures original settings, connect with customer support or perform any other action.

The only way he discovered possible to rid the TV of ransomware was ADB (Android Debug Bridge), which was activated in advance, before the experiment started, and which allowed to connect TV to a laptop and delete the malware from there.