Samsung says its TV sets should be "regularly checked for viruses"

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If you need to run anti-virus software on your television, then somewhere along the line you did something deeply, horribly wrong.


Yeah nah, by the time i get around to buying a newer TV i am not connecting it to the internet. I prefer my TV’s to stay as dumb TVs.


Yep. Never connect a TV to your network. Get a streaming device and let that deal with exposure.


This is why I prefer dumb TVs whenever possible. Never had a problem with any of them, and I can just attach my PC to it for any service that a smart TV can run, except with actual updates available even six months after purchase (which is how long most manufacturers take to abandon updates to older hardware).


Why can’t the TV do its own scans? Preferably when the screen is off to avoid impacting user experience?

Then again, if PC antivirus is any indication those scans are worthless anyway. Antivirus can only stop infections if it catches the payload before or during install. If it’s already running you’re screwed.


I’m thinking my next screen won’t even be a legitimate TV but maybe just a commercial signage panel.


ok so my Samsung is from 2018. I’m assuming no bloatware mcaffee installed (good thing) but I do have it linked to my wifi (for Netflix/amazon). how susceptible is it? everything else (including the wifi and net provider’s box) is locked down as well as can be.

There’s so the high likelihood that TV’s and similar IOTs have vulnerabilities that could never be patched out. Catching a virus would do literally nothing to prevent the problem, the problem is already well underway. That’s like putting in airbags in a car after it’s crashed.


Does it have an internet connected computer in it? Yes? then you need to be running regular AV and anti-malware scans.
If you have any brand of smart TV this is true for you too. The McAfee install is pretty standard on your desktop too no?
Samsung is correct in offering this advice. Everyone else is just pretending this isn’t an issue. I applaud Samsung for this.

And be sure to run regular AV scans on your streaming device.

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God no, McAfee is a terrible antivirus and i’d want nothing to do with it. The questions is: Do Samsung TV’s support alternate anti-viruses to be run on their sets? If not this looks like an anti-competitive scummy up-sell. Would rather not plug the TV to the internet to begin with.

That aside my biggest gripe with Smart TVs is how much of what you watch they track, something i also have little interest in having. Glad my current setup is old enough to lack smart features.


I’ve been trained on Daktronics display systems… no, you don’t want anywhere near those.

They dazzle you with fancy dashboard user interface, but the file requester is straight Windows 3.1 , which is total nightmare navigating to a file multiple folders deep on a network drive (as I had to do hundreds of times a game to load in sponsor graphics). Blows my mind Dak tried to be bleeding-edge for displays and yet their core libraries are all Windows NT based.

I have some newer Samsung Smart TV’s in my office, so far resisted getting them on the WiFi just because of all this virus buggery.


My 2016 Samsung TV has AV/AM features. I’ve turned all that shit off, though.


is this sarcasm?!?


I bought a new TV last fall for the first time in my life and I had to deal with all the fun privacy violating privacy destroying fun times of smart TVs.

I was leaning towards Samsung but I ended up getting an LG instead even though the picture look better on the Samsung.

I can’t remember the details entirely at this point but it seems like this model of LG is relatively controllable on what it actually gatherers from the user and I can shut most of that off

I would scream it from the rooftops if I could because it’s true but TV companies, why can’t you just go make a big fucking screen without apps in it and put connecting ports on it. Don’t put anything on it that collects information just give me a damn screen! And end this new form of bullshit, please!


Assuming the TV/IOT garbage device has Redboot burned into the ROM it should be possible to flash it with a known good image if you’re a tech wizard. In practice they should have strong code signing burned in to prevent these sorts of attacks in the first place, but from what I’ve seen in the real word these “smart” features are more often half baked and full of holes.

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So, what AV product was shipped pre-installed on your computer? McAfee and Symantec seem to be the standard pre-installed app.

The question should be, “is there an AV app that supports my Samsung?”. If your smart TV runs Android, then the answer is likely yes. Even when there is no access to the app store, apk files can usually be installed. Asking if Samsung supports AV scanning is like asking if Dell supports it. It’s a general purpose computer. Don’t over think it.

Excellent choice. It also makes this article irrelevant to you.

Not at all. If you have any device that connects to the internet, you should be running regular AV scans. If it does not support AV scanning, you should not connect it to the internet. Do you think that requires sarcasm?

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what you are actually wanting is a commercial LCD TV- they do make them, but be prepared for some serious sticker shock. (such as, which is a mere $1700 USD)

Well, yes. But the AV scan is being run on the streaming device or computer, not the TV itself. And there’s more flexibility in choice of AV software and better updates than whatever is shipped with the smart TV.

As bloatware, sure, just like Symantec. They get wiped right off with the rest of the garbage software the manufacturer ships with the computer or device after I buy it.

As the original article points out, it’s not just that they’re alerting people to the issue; this announcement is mainly a way for them to shift their responsibility and liability for addressing it. Samsung TVs should be running the AV scans and updating the AV software in the background by default – especially with consumers who aren’t techies.


I think I see the problem here. Think of a smart TV as an all in one computer. That big screen is just a screen. It’s connected to a general purpose computer that resides inside the screen case. Nothing is “being run” on the screen. It’s running on that general purpose computer inside it. All you do with a steaming device is put the general purpose computer outside the case.

So why be surprised that the computer inside your TV shipped with it if your desktop does too? Remove it from your TV just like you do on your PC and move on.

Yeah, that’s like saying when Dell ships with McAfee that Dell is shifting some imaginary responsibility to the consumer. Dell didn’t make windows. Dell made a general purpose computer, pre-installed an OS and an AV solution for that OS just like Samsung has done. What possible liability do you imagine Samsung is trying to get out of here? Why not ask the same of Dell, IBM, or anyone else who makes computer hardware that ships with an OS and AV?

Just in case you missed it, I think the article is a joke.

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