Ransomware locks LG Android TV

Posted 29 December 2016 17:16 CEST by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Owners of smart TVs running Android should be warned, ransomware can also infect televisions. Twitter user Darren Cauthon has tweeted how the TV of a family member was bricked after it was infected by ransomware.

The infection took place when the family member downloaded an app to watch a movie. Halfway the movie a fake FBI warning popped up stating, “Suspicious files have been found and your attendance of the forbidden pornographic sites has been fixed. For this reason your device has been locked. Information on your location and snapshots containing your face have been uploaded the on the FBI Cybercrime Department Datacenter.”

The ransom note then lists a penalty that has to be paid within 3 days, in this case $500.

Similar ransomware was already found on smartphones and where it’s fairly easy to remove ransomware from a smartphone, on a TV it’s a much more difficult venture.

The affected TV in this case was a three year old and discontinued LG TV (50GA6400). When Cauthon called LG for a fix, the manufacturer didn’t want to explain how to reset the TV to factory settings and the ransomware prevented access to any settings of the TV. It was even impossible to access the section where the payment details of the ransomware are, in case a victim actually hoped the TV would be unlocked when a payment was made.

Nevertheless, after complaining on Twitter and after his Tweet was retweeted and favorited thousands of times, LG contacted Cauthon. His TV is now fixed, as the video below shows.

MyCE Resident
Posted on: 29 Dec 16 19:34
There's no technology that is safe from idiots.
5 Agree

CDFreaks Resident
Posted on: 29 Dec 16 21:13
Moral of the story, anything which contains a programmable computer and some non-volatile storage it can potentially be infected.

They're probably onto a successful business model here - likely victims may not value their data, but they certainly value their big shiny TV.

If the software found its way into LG's app store then they absolutely should fix the TV for free. But even if it came from a 3rd party source they should still offer a method of resetting it back to its factory state.

Conspiracy theory time: Is this LG's way of 'encouraging' people to upgrade? Refresh cycles are getting longer and it's hitting the industry hard. But if this happened to you, would it make you more likely to buy another LG? On the other had, if the entire industry was part of the conspiracy...
1 Agree

MyCE Resident
Posted on: 30 Dec 16 14:16
Originally Posted by DoMiN8ToR
We've just posted the following news: Ransomware locks LG Android TV[newsimage]http://www.myce.com/wp-content/image...UKWE-95x75.jpg[/newsimage]

Read the full article here: http://www.myce.com/news/ransomware-...roid-tv-81142/

Please note that the reactions from the complete site will be synched below.
Probably because they used bad apps ransomware doesn't just get their by themselves. Look at the user for the cause that's why their warranty got voided.
1 Agree

MyCE Senior Member
Posted on: 31 Dec 16 00:05
This is exactly why I tell people that I sell TVs to to forget about the Smart features in their TV.
Hook your TV to a cheap netboock or chrome book and you have a little control of your privacy and if need be it's easy to nuke a drive and reinstall an OS.
First if you actually read the Terms and Conditions of "Smart" use, it essentially says that we the company have the right to collect whatever info we can and use it however we want.
Second I'm surprised how long it took for ransomware to show up on a TV.
The only way to install software from a source other than the Google Play Store is to use a browser connected to a non-approved sight (yes, the idiot was just asking for it).
0 Agree

MyCE Senior Member
Posted on: 31 Dec 16 03:26
unauthorised script execution (no confirmation required) - a major security flaw (since years) willingly ignored by MS and the other OS developers.

bunch of daft heads, really -- all of 'em!
0 Agree

MyCE Resident
Posted on: 01 Jan 17 03:59
Originally Posted by coolcolors
Probably because they used bad apps ransomware doesn't just get their by themselves. Look at the user for the cause that's why their warranty got voided.
I hope I'm not stepping on your toes when I ask this, but do you get paid every time you blame the victims? I ask because you always seem to go out of your way to do just so. PS: IDK how old this model TV is, but I'm willing to bet it hasn't had any security updates in years (if ever).
0 Agree

MyCE Resident
Posted on: 04 Jan 17 17:16
I'm glad my TV is stupid
0 Agree

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