Computer scientists say 'red button attack' leaves millions of smart TVs vulnerable
Flaw in the HbbTV standard gives hackers a way in to home networks
Computer scientists from Columbia University have warned of a critical vulnerability in smart TVs that lets hackers quickly and anonymously hijack home networks.
In a recently-published paper Yossi Oren and Angelos Keromytis say the so-called ‘red button attack’ (named after the button on remote controls that bring up interactive content) allows hackers to post spam through users' social networks, launch attacks against other computers and even hijack the microphones and cameras built into some TVs.
The attack affects any device that is compatible with the HbbTV industry standard (it's short for hybrid broadcast-broadband) which the researchers says is deeply flawed, essentially offering an open network to any individual with a cheap radio amplifier and a few lines of code.
Oren and Keromytis say that with a £260 device a hacker in an urban area could target “more than 20,000 devices in a single attack”. They could do this without being identified, taking control of any online accounts accessed through the TV as well as looking for vulnerable devices on the same network.
Oren and Keromytis told Forbes magazine that they had warned the body responsible for the standard only to be told the attack wasn’t severe enough to merit any action. HbbTV has been adopted in many European countries including France, Germany and Spain – although the standard is not widespread in the UK and has not been introduced to North America.
Life & Style blogs
Miley Cyrus' VMA outfits spark copying controversy
Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
Overly-controlling parents cause their children lifelong psychological damage, says study
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
- 1 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 2 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 3 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 4 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£22 - £25k basic + Commission=OTE £35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Bathroom Sh...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This creative agency requires a...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + competitive: SThree: As an Associate Recruitment C...
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They have been providing local ...