“I always feel like somebody’s watching me
And I have no privacy…
When I come home at night, I bolt the door real tight
People call me on the phone, I’m trying to avoid
But can the people on TV see me, or am I just paranoid?” *
Picture it: You’re lying in bed watching TV, and somebody is watching you – from your TV!
But you don’t know it.
Yep. You just might be under observation by anonymous eyes if you own a high-end “smart” TV with Internet connectivity, cameras, microphones and apps. Josh Yavor, a security engineer, explained how hackers anywhere in the world can gain access to control your TV’s camera function by writing in extra code. And it can be done so you’ll never even know the camera is running behind the web page you’re looking at.
A “smart TV” is essentially a computer with a web browser and devices that are running Linux, which acts as the windowing system. Same goes for your home security camera, lights, heating control systems, door and window locks. Hackables.
Some smart TVs are manufactured by Samsung, which was made aware of the flaw and fixed it. But as security researchers warn, hackers will always be looking for ways to break into the system. It’s what they do.
And let’s not overlook the ubiquitous Google. The Internet giant has launched a competitor to Apple TV called Chromecast. The $35 device lets you control your TV screen from your smart phone or tablet, including iPhones and iPads. According to a report in Forbes, it sold out almost immediately. Hacking reports in three … two…
“What we’re doing is for foreign intelligence purposes, to go after counterterrorism, counter-proliferation, cyber attacks,” he said. “And it’s focused. And if you think about netflow and the amount of information, you couldn’t afford – or don’t want to – collect everything.”
Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald who broke the Snowden story reacted, tweeting: “Who knew the senior Dems on this Committee were 5 years old?”
The Twittersphere was achirp at Snowden’s departure from Moscow’s airport, prompting one twit to tweet: “Hey, does anyone know if Snowden has left the Moscow airport? I’m not really sure what with the 500 tweets about it so far.”
Moscow Metro Police Chief Andrei Mokhov said the devices have a range of about five meters and can read the SIM card. And though it is illegal to track a person without permission from the authorities, Mokhov says there’s no law against tracking the property of a company, such as a SIM card.
“Izvestia” reported that “according to experts, the devices can be used more widely to follow all passengers without exception.” Of course.
Quoting Forbes: “Even more important are the thousands of experiments Google runs.
The massive breadth of Google services allows it to collect information on just about every human activity you can think of, from how we surf the Web to how we travel through a city and now, how we watch TV. It can then use the data to build simulations that help it determine how consumers are likely to act in the future, which allows Google to create better and better products.”
Yep: “Sometimes it feels like … somebody’s watching me … and I have no privacy.”
* Lyrics from eLyrics.net. The “Somebody’s Watching Me” lyrics by Michael Jackson are copyrighted, and eLyrics.net is featuring all Michael Jackson songs for non-commercial use only.