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Consumer Reports Warns Of Smart TV Hacking Vulnerability, Roku Disagrees

Roku.Mike Mozart/Flickr

In a recent analysis of smart TVs from major brands, Consumer Reports found that they have several problems, which made them vulnerable to getting hacked. As such, consumers could have their personal information collected without them knowing and at much higher rates than they realize. These include what they’re watching and searching.

As USA Today reports, Consumer Reports discovered that the security measures of the smart TVs were so terrible, hackers were actually able to take over and control them remotely. They could do things like changing the channel and mess with the volume. Even more frightening is how the hackers were able to install new apps to the TVs, which could pave the way to the installation of malware.

During their tests, the non-profit consumer group actually hired a firm called Dissconnect to do the hacking for them. The fact that it was done so easily means that there is a serious oversight on the part of the companies making these smart TVs, saying how even "basic security practices were not being followed."

Among the units that were investigated include Samsung and the Roku TV by TCL. When told about the vulnerabilities in their TVs, the companies told the non-profit that they would be conducting their own investigations.

However, Roku decided that it would be a good idea to push back on the report that was released. In a recent blog post, the company’s Vice President, Gary Ellison said that Consumer Reports was wrong.

“Consumer Reports issued a report saying that Roku TVs and players are vulnerable to hacking. This is a mischaracterization of a feature. It is unfortunate that the feature was reported in this way. We want to assure our customers that there is no security risk,” the blog post reads.

Apparently, the hackers were able to use Roku’s own feature to hack its unit. The company said that this feature could be turned off.

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