Society

Is Your TV Safe From The CIA?

| by Sheena Vasani

Wondering if the CIA hacked into your Samsung TV?

You're not alone.

After Wikileaks documents revealed the CIA can spy on Americans through their internet-connected Samsung TV and other devices, some wonder about their own gadgets.

Using the Fake Off mode, the government can trick you into thinking your Samsung 2012 or 2013 TV is off when it is actually still on, recording your every word.

Popular Video

This young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true.

Using the Fake Off mode, the government can trick you into thinking your TV is off when it is actually still on, recording your every word.

If you own one of the following models, you may be affected: UNES8000F, E8000GF plasma, UNES7550F, UNF8000 series, F8500 plasma, UNF7500 series, and UNF7000 series.

A simple blue LED in the back of your TV can help you identify if Big Brother is watching. Simply turn the device off; if the blue light still shines, that means it's on Fake Off mode -- and you are being spied on.

Luckily for  should not be too worried.

Popular Video

This young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true:

For one thing, the Fake Off mode can only be installed into a Samsung TV manually with a USB firmware update, which is now disabled.

"The shear fact that this exploit would have to be loaded by physically connecting a usb dongle to your TV means that virtually zero people reading the article have a chance to have been infected," commented one individual on Wired's article. "I'm a computer/IT professional and very tech savvy and have never had a reason to manually update firmware on a TV, at least not a TV made in the last 10 years."

Major technological companies also rushed to reassure consumers they are safe.

"Protecting consumers' privacy and the security of our devices is a top priority at Samsung," a Samsung spokesperson said, CNBC reports, adding they are investigating the claims.

"Apple is deeply committed to safeguarding our customers' privacy and security," Apple said in a statement to CNBC via email. "The technology built into today's iPhone represents the best data security available to consumers."

Others disagree that they are completely safe, however.

"Always err on the side of caution," commented another Wired reader. "Because if the government can put surveillance into a product (and we all know how competent those paranoid fools are), then any hacker or data-mining corporation could use your paid-for bandwidth to take advantage of those security issues."

Sources: WiredCNBC  / Photo credit: Ignacio Melendrez/Wikimedia Commons

Is anxiety over spying warranted?
Yes - 0%
Yes - 0%