Smart TVs An ‘Inevitable’ Path For Hackers To Attack Home PCs: Experts

by Herb Weisbaum, NBC News

Smart TV apps

ETC@USC/Creative Commons

Digital security experts warn that smart TVs – Internet-enabled television sets – provide cybercriminals a new way to sneak into your home computer and steal sensitive personal information.

While such hacks are so far only known to have been done by security researchers, experts say it’s only a matter of time before an enterprising crook uses a smart TV to rob someone blind.

“As more people get these smart sets, we’ll see a lot more hacking of TVs to get into the home computer network,” said Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum. “It’s not a back-door or a side-door; it’s a front door to your home network. It’s a toboggan run directly to your computer.”

And the number of such sets is growing rapidly. About 46 percent of U.S. households have a smart TV – a set that has a browser and Wi-Fi capability that enables it to go online, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). That figure is expected to pass 50 percent before the end of the year. CTA predicts that nearly 70 percent of all TVs sold in the U.S. this year will be capable of connecting to the Internet.

Robert Siciliano, a fraud prevention specialist with, says it’s only a matter of time before cybercriminals exploit this attractive target.

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