BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Your high-tech "smart" TV could be putting you and your family at risk. Hackers have found a way to use your television to spy on you.
Security engineers say your TV is easier than you'd like to think.
Aaron Grattafiori, principal security consultant for iSec Partners, explains the built-in camera and internet access that comes standard on these TVs make you vulnerable.
"It's a computer. So instead of just being a tube and some other electronics, now it has a web browser," he said. "The kind of scary thing about it is that it doesn't actually give any indication that the camera is on and there is no little LED that shows up when the camera is on. So we could actually be watching you, and you'd never even know."
Grattafiori says hackers design software with special codes that look like a site you might visit frequently.
Security engineer at iSec Partners Josh Yavor said, "But the real danger is when people start using smart TVs for things like online banking. We can take a popular bank address and translate that into a different IP address to a site, directs to a site that we control. So it may look like your bank's login, but you're actually entering your username and password that goes to us instead of your bank."
The new threat has the attention of New York Senator Charles Schumer.
"We're calling on the major TV manufacturers to improve the software in these TVs. We're calling on the TV manufacturers to make it impossible for anyone to hack in with these little cameras and watch you," he stated.
Schumer says TV manufacturers should act before Congress steps in.
He argued, "It's doesn't cost very much; it's easily done."
Until then, experts say you should unplug your TV from your home network when you're not using the smart TV features and cover the camera.
Yavor said, "Put a little Post-it note over it or a piece of tape, and next time you want to Skype with your family, just take it off."
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