Smart TV

CIA developed eavesdropping tool for Samsung Smart TVs

10 Mar 2017 | Rasmus Larsen |

WikiLeaks has published internal documents from CIA that describe how the agency developed tools to eavesdrop on conversations at home through a Samsung Smart TV.

Can record conversations

Samsung has been under heavy fire for how its Smart TVs were recording conversations in the living rooms via an always-on microphone and transmitting these recordings in unencrypted form to a third party.

CIA has apparently developed an exploit for the unsecure Smart TVs from Samsung. WikiLeaks has published a major leak dubbed ”Vault 7” based on internal documents from CIA. In the documents CIA describes how it has been able to turn a Samsung Smart TV into a recording device via a tool named ”Weeping Angel”.

- “The attack against Samsung smart TVs was developed in cooperation with the United Kingdom's MI5/BTSS. After infestation, Weeping Angel places the target TV in a 'Fake-Off' mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on. In 'Fake-Off' mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server,” Wikileaks wrote.

It is not clear if CIA actually took use of the tool but it once again highlights how unsecure the connected devices in our homes are. The documents were dated 2014. Certain Samsung Smart TVs prior to 2014 were also equipped with a camera in the frame.


Hacking tools were leaked

WikiLeaks’ documents furthermore detail how CIA’s tools were leaked to third parties to be used for other nefarious purposes.

The exact method used to hack a Samsung Smart TV is . CIA makes specific mention of the F8000 model form the 2013 TV line-up. Other Smart TVs from the 2013 line-up built on the same platform.

- Source: WikiLeaks via The Verge



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