Earlier this week, a tweet from Samsung created havoc when it said that users should periodically scan their smart TVs for malware. Though Samsung was quick to delete the tweet, there is no denying that just like any smart devices, your smart TVs are also susceptible to virus attacks. So, it is important that you know how to scan your Samsung TV for viruses.
A smart TV connected to a Wi-Fi network could be an easy target for a hacker, just like any other smart device, including smartphones. Moreover, most smart TVs feature a microphone, which could be hacked to eavesdrop on your conversations.
Though there haven’t been any security breaches concerning Samsung’s smart TVs, WikiLeaks revealed a couple of years back that the CIA had software called “Weeping Angel” that can turn Samsung’s smart TVs into a listening device.
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Also, in 2015, Samsung attracted criticism regarding its smart TVs, when it advised users not to discuss personal information in front of the display as it could transfer information to third parties.
In 2017, a security researcher revealed 40 zero-day vulnerabilities in Samsung’s smart TV OS, while in 2018, Consumer Reports found that hackers can control millions of smart TVs using “easy-to-find security flaws.”
Also, there have been a few incidents of people infecting their smart TVs (both intentionally and unintentionally), according to a report from TechHive. For instance, in 2015 a user infected their Samsung TV by plugging an already infected thumb drive into it. In another incident in 2015, a security researcher was able to infect an unnamed Android-based TV using a hacking technique that required access to the home network.
In 2016, a Reddit user reported that their sister’s LG TV was attacked with malware while browsing the internet. Investigating the matter revealed that the TV was attacked but closing the browser window prevented any loss. In the same year, a user reported a ransomware attack on a four-year-old LG TV.
Possibly to avoid such incidents, Samsung recently suggested to users to regularly scan their Samsung TV for viruses. “Scanning your computer 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!” read the tweet (now removed) from Samsung.
Samsung, however, had to remove the tweet after users started to panic with the thought of their smart TV’s being prone to hacking. The tweet was accompanied by a video showing how users could scan their Samsung TV for viruses. However, after Samsung deleted the tweet, the video also was lost.
So, if you would like to scan your Samsung TV for viruses, this article will guide you with all the information that you need.
Scanning your smart TV for viruses
Scanning your smart TV is really easy. All you need to do is go to the settings menu on your Samsung TV and click on General. Next, click on System Manager and then scroll down to Smart Security. Now, click on Smart Security and choose Scan. Your Samsung TV will now start scanning for viruses and malware.
Talking of how often you should scan your Samsung TV for viruses, Samsung recommends that you should perform a scan every few weeks. Samsung, on its end, has previously provided several security updates to its smart TV platform, Tizen. The updates included improved security controls on the smart TV keyboard along with an “enhanced validation measure for remote control of the TV.”
One important question that naturally arises here is, if anti-virus scanning is so important for the smart TVs, then why is scanning not automatic? For instance, if you install a Windows 10 from an ISO, Windows Defender has regular updates and scans scheduled by default. There are also third-party apps, such as McAfee, Symantec, or Malwarebytes that automatically schedule regular scans and updates.
A similar system for the smart TVs will free users from the task of manually running anti-virus scanning on their smart TVs.
Another solution that Scott Helme of Security Headers has is to give an on-screen prompt reminding users to carry out a scan.
“Trying to place the burden on users like this won’t work,” said Helme, according to BBC. “At the very least, Samsung should provide an on-screen prompt if this were really necessary.”