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Samsung tells owners of its QLED TVs to manually scan for malware every few weeks

By midian182 · 13 replies
Jun 17, 2019
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  1. Samsung’s official Twitter account posted that scanning for ‘malware viruses’ is important to keep it running smoothly. “This also is true for your QLED TV if it's connected to Wi-Fi!” it added. The tweet included a video showing how to perform this process, which involves going to General Settings > System Manager > Smart Security > Scan.

    Update (12pm ET): Samsung has now deleted the somewhat controversial tweet. That doesn't make it any less relevant or accurate however.

    Samsung suggests carrying out this slightly arduous task every few weeks, which many people are unlikely to do. We don’t know whether the tweet was prompted by a recently discovered threat, though there’s been no news of any new potential security vulnerabilies.

    Experts have long warned that smart TVs are a ripe target for hackers, and in 2016, we saw an example of an LG smart TV infected with a version of the Cyber.Police ransomware, though LG’s instructions on how to perform a factory reset fixed the issue.

    While Samsung TVs have had the ability to scan for malware for a few years now, this is the first time the company has recommended performing a manual scan every few weeks.

    Back at the start of the year, Samsung announced it was extending its contract to have McAfee antivirus software pre-installed on all its smart televisions produced in 2019.

    Twitter has been awash with responses to Samsung’s suggestion, with several users asking the obvious question: why isn’t the virus scan performed automatically?

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2019
  2. lexster

    lexster TS Maniac Posts: 466   +233

    Better idea, don't connect your "smart" TV to the internet. Use a TV box of some sort, much safer, much more secure.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,889   +1,530

    Hmm; Something fundamentally flawed here. Two cases: Hardwired vs WiFi connected.

    For WiFi connections, your first bastion is the router SSID/Password. All WiFi devices are protected using this access control.

    Wired devices depend upon the NAT and SPI features for protection.

    Either way, any device (regardless of the connection) can become infected and that becomes the origin for infecting everything on the LAN. Some devices, say a PC, have firewalls and antivirus software for individual access control and further protection for each device.

    So scanning needs to be on every device connected to the LAN, not just the TV.
  4. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,209   +670

    Lets be fair though, the box could become infected too. Not sure how you would even know if something like a Roku became infected, but I would imagine the easiest solution would be to trash it and buy a new one for $50 (or whatever they run these days).
    warmonked, lexster, Reehahs and 2 others like this.
  5. Hardware Geek

    Hardware Geek TS Booster Posts: 88   +69

    Assuming you can detect the issue in the first place, a factory reset should, theoretically, fix the problem. Unless of course the reset partition has been infected of course.

    As to the obvious, of course a device that connects to the internet is at risk of infection. Also, this should have the option to auto scan.
    Teko03 likes this.
  6. Linkinworm

    Linkinworm TS Member

    Given the tv has an option to auto retune at a set time, why not just auto scan at a set time? set it to something like 4am or what ever when you ain't going to be bothered by it, doesn't even need the screen physically on blasting light for this to work.
    jtveg and Godel like this.
  7. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,550   +1,767

    Smarter plan: NEVER connect a "smart TV" to the internet, instead use a TV streaming box or PC for streaming. Secure, works WAY better then any smart TV, and none of this BS.
  8. Roush60

    Roush60 TS Rookie Posts: 23   +13

    I agree totally. That is why the two tv sets in my house are not connected to the internet. As a matter of fact, one isn't even capable due to it being so old, it's a 32 inch RCA color set with an actual picture tube for video. We do have a 42 inch flat screen in the family room that only has the DTV box on it. It is close enough to the internet modem/router/wi-fi hub to connect to the wi-fi, but I am not going to that. If I am going to surf the internet, I will use my computer. We have no need for the streaming services as our internet is WAY to slow to do that. Living in a rural small town, the only provider with speeds fast enough to do streaming video, like Netflix, Roku, etc., is the local cable provider. It is REALLY expensive as well.
    Reehahs likes this.
  9. Dav dee cully

    Dav dee cully TS Rookie

    Imagine say 100 million TV's trying to download the updates at the same time. It needs sorting by the manufacturer. Its called a latent defect within the product in Law UK.
    disclaimed by the software agreement most likely. FIX IT.
  10. Dav dee cully

    Dav dee cully TS Rookie

    If you look up the firmware for any smart TV they are not well supported once in actual use.
    TBH it can mess up if you do it wrong, so I understand the manufacturers avoiding the plug or email communications to end users. Bugs are in every product regardless from new.
  11. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 731   +561

    Odd. I don't recall non-smart TVs having any issues for decades.

    Get rid of this "smart" stupid bullcrap. Just give me a TV and quit cramming your junk into them that will go outdated and not work in a few years anyway. SMH. Same thing with home theater receivers. You shove all this junk in them, raise the price for it, then not ever update it. Give us quality components instead rather than throwaway electronics.
    lexster and Reehahs like this.
  12. Markoni35

    Markoni35 TS Booster Posts: 196   +93

    This is a great reminder to the *****s who love "smart devices". I warned them years ago, and they said maybe I'm wearing a "tin foil hat". Now those "smart people" have learned the harder way. Anything having "smart" on the label means "insecure". Internet of Things (aka IoT) is the biggest crap ever invented, because the device you bought and paid is loyal to its manufacturer, government agencies, random hackers, etc. Basically to everyone except to you. Who paid for it.

    Hello naive people who want to implant chips into their heads or arms! Have you learned something from this? Be happy with your natural body. Which, aside from being impervious to EMP attacks, is also loyal to you and just you. Because it's very hard to reprogram it.

    Yes, it means you can't learn Chinese just by downloading the rules to your brain. But that's a good thing, because it also means you can't be reprogrammed by some malicious hacker. Or government. The inability for easy reprogramming is the advantage of humans vs robots.

    And this applies to devices too. The harder to reprogram the device, the safer it is. Who really needs his AC to be connected to the internet?? With automatic remote firmware update. Fantastic. Automatic remote bricking. Or automatic malware installation.
    Reehahs and arrowflash like this.
  13. lexster

    lexster TS Maniac Posts: 466   +233

    Exactly, it will be a lot cheaper to replace a TV box than the whole TV.
  14. jtveg

    jtveg TS Booster Posts: 57   +18

    CRT telly, slow internet, and no Netflix. :scream: Sounds like you live in the dark ages.
    I feel so sorry for you. :cold_sweat:
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019

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