Samsung Advised Smart TV Customers to Scan Units for Malware

Samsung reminded its smart TV customers to scan their appliances for malware regularly, only to delete the message shortly.

In a recent tweet by its US support unit, the tech giant reminded its customers of regular malware scanning. The TV maker said this activity would allow their units to run smoothly. The message also included that its QLED TVs connected to the Wi-Fi are also vulnerable to attacks.

To run a scan, Samsung tells its Smart TV customers to head to its settings menu and select General. Click on System Manager then find and click on Smart Security and click on it. They should then select Scan to start scanning for malware and viruses.

Treating Smart TVs Like 1990s Windows

Samsung deleted the advisory soon after, probably because of realizing the absurdity of its message. This move of encouraging their customers to treat their TV units like Windows PCs of decades past backlashed. Many techies mocked and lambasted the TV maker in the press and on social media for its reminder.

While Samsung has shown concern about security, the implementation of its solution provides poor user experience, a TNW article said. It said that no person had run a virus scan on their TV set in decades. Encouraging its customers to carry out the scanning manually undermines the “smartness” of their units.

The article also cited the comment of Javvad Malik, a security awareness advocate. Malik said that putting the burden of running a scan on the customers “is not a good strategy.” Instead, these devices should have built-in anti-virus scans and security integrity checks.

Malik also questions how TVs will respond when it detected a virus or malware. Should the device quarantine or delete it, or the user should install an anti-virus app? He concluded his comment by emphasizing on building in security right from the design phase.

Samsung Advised Smart TV Customers to Scan Units for Malware

Smart TVs Are Vulnerable

Consumer Reports found in its 2018 article that hackers can access millions of smart TVs, including Samsung’s.  However, Malik said that so far, there is no evidence suggesting a malware that targets TVs. But the security expert doesn’t rule out the possibility of any future malware attack on TVs.

As homes are getting more connected to the internet, the possibility of hacking TVs is highly possible. Hackers may also target other household appliances, including smart speakers, smart displays, or smart security cameras. As such, tech experts advise appliance manufacturers to enhance the security features of its devices.