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

that depends which os youre using, I assume? but on windows (think this is meant here) that would be surely windows defender, not some bloatware.

and that depends what youre doing online. all I can say is that I had once in 20 years an infection because I was stupid; an AV-software wouldnt have prevented that at all. that was some 12 years ago and I didnt use such software then as I dont use it today. what I do is backup, firewall and noScript. for special needs using a Linux-from-stick. seems fine so far.


Neat! Where are you buying your desktops that do not have some 3rd party AV pre-installed?

That’s pure gold there bud. If you don’t run regular scans, you have no idea if you are infected. You could easily be part of some bot net and never know it. Hell, the Linux-from-stick could be running on an infected USB device spreading with every PC you connect to. The term, I think, is willful ignorance. When you read about a big bot attack on something, ask yourself “am I part of the problem?”.

Here is your position told in another way. “I don’t take vaccinations. I eat healthy, only talk to healthy people, and so far everything is fine.”

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fresh install after buying used ones.

a scan with defender every month or so. but no livescan. didnt mention that, sorry.

right. I never check my traffic.

with a fresh install and no writing-rights?

samsung use its kinda own OS tizen for that specific hardware, based on linux. also:

On April 3, 2017, Vice reported on its “Motherboard” website that Amihai Neiderman, an Israeli security expert, has found more than 40 zero-day vulnerabilities in Tizen’s code, allowing hackers to remotely access a wide variety of current Samsung products running Tizen, such as Smart TVs and mobile phones.


Correct. And unlike the computer built into the smart TV, the external streaming device is likely going to have better AV software, more frequent firmware and OS updates, and probably offer easier root or admin access for those comfortable with it.

Your average smart TV consumer doesn’t know or care about that, though. I’m looking at the problematic nature of this announcement mainly from their point of view. It’s doubtful that an average consumer is going to go through…

more than a dozen remote-control button presses required to access the sub-menu needed to activate the check

every few weeks to keep their TV from being turned into a minimalist piece of wall art.

Removing it from the TV and installing a proper AV scanner requires technical skills and a willingness to void the warranty most consumers don’t have. Meanwhile, the anti-tamper locks Samsung puts in place are a pain in the arse for techies like me, so we just leave the smart TV unconnected and attach a streaming device where we have root access and where scans and firmware OS updates can be run in the background.

No, because there are different expectations in that regard with a PC where the primary user is defaulted to admin/root access vs. an Internet-connected appliance (or indeed a mobile phone) – especially for non-techie consumers.

Now I’d agree those expectations might need to change in the future, but putting the AV burden on consumers when it comes to their network-connected TVs or thermostats or toasters or whatever right now is a cop-out.

Having to take back or exchange a bricked smart TV because the AV bloatware didn’t catch a zero-day virus looking to exploit the (likely unpatched) firmware in time. This way they can shrug and tell the consumer “hey, it’s your fault, just buy a new one”.


Which reminds me…

Don’t you wish there was a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence? There’s one marked ‘Brightness,’ but it doesn’t work.
– Gallagher


I only use the HDMI port on my TV set, fed from a PC or game console. Well, I also use the yellow RCA plug for the DVD and VHS players.

There’s no one forcing you to connect your TV to the Internet, is there?


Same here. The TV itself isn’t connected directly to the network. If a friend or family member asks for help setting up their new TV I advise against adding it to the home network.

There isn’t, but the average consumer who doesn’t know any better is urged by the manufacturer to connect the TV to the home network during the set-up process. Usually there’s not a big notice in that process that says “you are responsible for running AV checks every couple of weeks” and the AV functionality is buried in a forest of submenus (when most people stop at two clicks) and bad UI/UX, which one of the reasons I see this announcement as more of a CYA measure than something they expect most consumers to do.

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Once upon a time, they made TVs with VCRs built right in. Some people bought them because that seemed like a nice integration. But a VCR, depending on how heavily you used it, typically had a shorter lifespan than a display, so you were paying for functionality that would shorten the life of your investment. If you stuck with the more traditional component model, you could replace your VCR when needed without also replacing your TV (and vice versa if needed).

I’ve got a CD player from 1983 that still works. I have a 1990s LaserDisc player that still works. But my BluRay players seem to die every two years. Last time this happened, I picked up a “cheap” one at Costco, with the intent of not connecting it to the internet. I still had to scroll through a 43-screen terms of use and privacy policy. When you turn it on, it outputs a horrendous screeching noise until it connects to the network. At that point, it’ll actually take you to the system menu. With some discs, it refuses to show the disc menu without long conversation with a server
somewhere out in the ether.

So not connecting it to the network is fine, as long as you don’t want to use it.


You TV is part of what’s called the Internet of Things (IoT). Most IoT devices are running some form of Linux, and they’re probably not well protected. Currently, IoT devices are usually used attack someone else (like taking down the website of a company that hackers don’t like) more than used to do something damaging to your device or the computers on your network. But that could potentially change if hackers find a way to exploit these devices in more sophisticated ways.

It’s probably not a huge risk, but it’s also not zero risk either. At the very least, it could slow your TV’s response time down.

It seems short-sighted on Samsung’s part. If their devices can be used as part of a botnet, everyone loses – but they’re far more likely to be the victim of a botnet attack than the average user.

That said, I own a Samsung Smart TV, and I probably won’t do anything.

I only found out of the horror of smart TVs after I bought one. Because I needed a TV and I didn’t have much choice to buy anything except a smart TV because that’s all that’s left.

I don’t connect the TV directly to the internet but I do use a Chromecast Ultra that is plugged in even though I don’t think it needs to be to function.

I have no TV service nor do I intend to buy it, TV service is pretty much crap aside from maybe three channels I could think of that I would watch so I will not pay for it.

I need to get a good digital antenna and I will be happy if I have local news and PBS back because I actually watch a lot of that. And no, I’m not old. Mid 30s. I just really like Murder Mysteries and British comedy and woodworking shows and a lot of other things they show.

The only thing I use the TV for now is watching movies from a DVD player and streaming Japanese TV to the TV from my phone to the Chromecast rather than through any TV apps because I learned very quickly the Privacy nightmare there. I don’t trust Google either but I trust them more than the TV maker.

Its all the same pile of shit all the way down, though. I just localized my shitpile to Google for one entity rather than many to scream at

I remember when technology used to be cool.

The secondhand market for teevees is a thing.


Just watch out for HDMI Ethernet Channel! I doubt most game consoles support patching their internet connection through to the TV, but on the off-chance that they do, I certainly wouldn’t put it past Smart TV manufacturers to sneakily use that as a channel to slurp up tracking info.

And if anyone’s wondering how they’d have any tracking info if you never use the TV’s streaming features, well, they can figure out what you’re watching even if it comes in over HDMI using ‘automatic content recognition’. Nasty stuff.


Based on all the above information, I’m going to connect my RCA vacuum tube TV set to a kinescope and watch old 16mm B&W films.


These days, after a while the TV may very well refuse to work, until updated. Yes, really.

I have a Sony Bravia “dumb” panel and I couldn’t be happier. Who the hell needs “apps” on a TV connected directly to a PC…?!

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Thanks so much for the
thoughtful reply Aaron!

if you want the cheap cheap option, go with kindle tv. it shows you ads before the ads, and an amazon branded watermark over every show: but it includes amazon prime at a discount and allows you to pay for the tv monthly.

$30 bucks a month for the tv. $50 for prime tv. and only $100 dollars for prime tv hbo stars. ( game of thrones episodes are extra but only $7 each, per viewer, per showing, max three viewers, login and alexa voiceprint recognition required. ) stadia prime is not included but will allow you play google stadia games straight from your amazon tv for a small $2.00 per hour surcharge.

just think of the money you’ll save!!!

( i may have made some of this up. maybe. )


The first time I remember posing this kind of question, Y2K was in the news, and I was told that pipeline valves needed to be replaced because their calander modules were going to fail. And I found myself wondering, “why does a pipeline valve need to know what day it is?”
Variations of this question inform those jokes about sentient bombs, chatty toasters, and incompetent tea dispensers. But its not as funny when theyre installing antivirus software on voting machines.

If I am browsing the dark web, I get it, it’s only prudent to take basic precautions. Like having high wheel clearance on a 4 wheel drive if Im going off-roading. But if all I want to do is nip off to the corner store, and its recommended I do so in a tracked, armored personnel carrier, then something is seriously wrong.

Im beginning to think the only way to truly overcome this kind of nonsense, will be to compile my computing requirements into an analog computer, complete with 3D printed cams. Any back doors into such a thing would at least be visible to the eye.


Spoken like a true Mac user.

Any device with a user programmable CPU should be checked, this encompasses the SoCs which are on virtually EVERY new television now. That actually means, Samsung is looking out not only for themeselves, but everyone.

To dismiss this as a fault, instead of worthy advice tangibly demonstrates an ignorance when it comes to technology. Your comment is completely ridiclous, and I hope you understand why before you plug a “vacuum” virus node into the web…though I suspect its too late.

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welcome to BoingBoing, comrade;

if this comment of yours wasnt sarcastic (really cant tell, again), then I must assume you didnt get the point davide405 was trying to make. and randall too, btw.


What’s old is new again…

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