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Samsung says its new Tizen TVs will be harder to hack

After a year in which the weakness of smart TVs were exploited, Samsung goes on the offensive.
Daniel Cooper, @danielwcooper
December 30, 2015
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Samsung has announced that its next generation of Tizen smart TVs will be a lot harder to crack than before. The firm has created Gaia, a security product for its 2016 range that promises to do for TV what Knox did for its smartphones. Some of the features promised include locking your credit card information with a smartphone-style pin, encrypting the data it sends out and a built-in anti-malware system. In addition, the TVs will ship with physical encryption chips to make it that much harder for others to access your microphone or, in some models, webcam.

Samsung's betting big on the internet of things to help recover some of its lost profits, and wants the TV to sit at the heart of this strategy. It believes that people will want to activate their lights, heating and garage doors all from the comfort of their couch without having to take their eyes off The Big Bang Theory. If smart TVs get a reputation for being easy to hack, then Samsung's models are hardly likely to be big sellers.

The security of smart TVs is becoming more of an issue across the industry after firms like Vizio were caught with hilariously lax policies. Earlier this year, security researchers discovered that the company's smart TVs didn't bother to validate that the servers it pumped private information to were secure. Since those units famously track your viewing habits, even when not watching live broadcasts, it was pretty easy for nefarious types to gain access to your home. Hopefully other firms will lock down their TVs in a similar fashion in order to avoid ruining the lives of more of their users in 2016.

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