Security experts have warned that TVs using the Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) standard could be hijacked and used to launch attacks on websites.
Smart TVs offer viewers a mix of linear broadcast channels, on-demand content, streamed channels and access to social media and other websites.
Researchers at Columbia University’s Network Security Lab say HbbTV devices can be hijacked using a combination of an aerial and carefully crafted broadcast messages.
Once hackers had access to a TV, they could use it to post messages to social media sites or bombard a target website or server with high levels of data requests, according to researchers Yossef Oren and Angelos Keromytis.
Users could also suffer financial loss because it’s possible that compromised TVs could be used to “purchase DRM-protected content whose royalties are pocketed by the at- tacker, or call a premium number using a VoIP application.”
The researchers warn that the fact apps can run invisibly in the background means malicious activity is possible without any knowledge or involvement of the set-owner.