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SmartTV Webcam Films Couples Having Sex

Most people have heard the famous saying ‘get a room.’ Now, due to the actions of cybercriminals, the phrase is taking on a more modern meaning that has got quite a few people worried that they may be the next viral internet sensation. The reason? While most people are aware that hackers can use malware to take over a laptop or PC webcam, they may not realise that hackers have been discovered hacking Smart TVs in order to get footage of couples having sex on the sofa.

With that in mind (if you own a Smart TV or laptop with a webcam) the next time you start to get hot under the collar while watching your favorite TV show with your partner: You may want to move through to the bedroom or else face the very real possibility that you could end up an Internet porn star.

The news comes via Laura Higgins, a representative for the Revenge Porn Helpline, who has revealed that people have indeed complained that one of their friends had accidentally found erotic footage of them – getting jiggy on the sofa – in front of their Smart TV,

‘We have dealt with one couple who were filmed making love in their living room through their smart TV by someone who had taken control of it,’ said Higgins. ‘The footage just appeared on a website.’

What is most peculiar about the cyber attack is that it seems to have been random, with no particular reason for the choice of victim whatsoever. No request for ransom and no personally identifiable details attached to the footage,

‘Friends had seen it online and told them. The victims had no idea it was there — they had not made any personal videos, and no names were attached to the online footage identifying the people in it. But they could recognise their living room and from the angle, the video was taken they worked out that it must have been filmed from the webcam that was attached to their smart TV. There was no communication from anyone to the couple – no blackmail threat or revenge-type message. So the conclusion must be it was a random attack – we just don’t know.’

With Smart TVs now having built in webcam capabilities – just like with any other webcam – it is becoming important to think about the safety of that webcam, and to acknowledge just how easy it is for an embarrassing cyber attack to take place if the proper precautions aren’t taken.

One huge problem is the ease with which ordinary computer users can access software for hacking webcams. These types of hackers are called ‘script kiddies’, and they get their ability to hack from sites that provide software such as GitHub. Often these novice – or ‘nube’ – hackers aren’t particularly mean-minded: Hacking using the online scripts either for fun or to learn, rather than for monetary recompense (which is the reason that most malevolent black hat hackers do it).

Of course (as is the case with all forms of hacking), it is very likely that this type of attack will increase in frequency. Just look at the alarming spread of ransomware for locking up computers and smartphones, and you will get an idea of the possible future of this type of hacking – and the money that could be extorted from couples who did nothing more than get intimate on the sofa.

webcam tips

How to avoid having you Smart TV Webcam hacked

Here is a short guide designed to help you stop perverted online hackers from turning your living room into a red light zone:

  1.  Unplug or disable the camera when it is not in use. This may sound very simple, but you would be surprised how many people simply can’t be bothered to walk over and unplug the webcam. Of course, if it is a built-in webcam you may have to go into the settings to disable it  – which would then mean having to enable it again – when you want to use your smart TV to make a Skype call. If this seems like too much effort, you could always do like the head of the FBI, James Comey, and put a sticker over your webcam.
  1. Change your password. Often passwords have either not been updated from the default password (which are notoriously simple like 1234), or have simply been set too weak by the user. Remember that a strong password will likely be too hard to remember, meaning that you will need to store it somewhere securely for later use. We suggest using upper and lower case characters and keeping the password to a string of random characters. By making it long and random, it will be much harder for a hacker to access your Smart TV and it’s webcam.
  1. Set up a firewall. Some webcams are very insecure and have been found to be incredibly easy to hack. For this reason, it is important to have a good firewall setup on your home network. The best of these are a firewall inside the broadband router itself. Another thing to consider is that if you have set up port forwarding or dynamic DNS to access your webcam while not in your home, you must make sure that everything is configured correctly and that the password to your router’s settings is also set firmly.
  1. Beware of malware! Though it is rare, there has been cases of people getting malware on their Smart TV via the browser. The malware itself wasn’t expressly designed for the Smart TV but was rather a form of malware that is a danger to all internet users. The best way to avoid this type of malware is to avoid untrusted websites or messages that could link to sites that infect your machine.  Also worth noting, is that the malware which was found on the LG Smart TV attempted to make the user ring a telephone number to fix the problem. Despite wanting to regain full use of your Smart TV, these phone numbers should never be called – as they will likely result in very high phone bill.
  1. Keep your Smart TV and webcam up to date. An important aspect of all Internet of Things products (such as Smart TVs) is that they will often receive security updates and patches from the manufacturer. Those updates are vital for remaining safe online, and should be downloaded as soon as they become available. For this reason, we recommend staying up-to-date with your particular brand of Smart TVs latest software – checking regularly – to see if you are missing an essential security update.
  1. USB sticks can carry malware. If your Smart TV runs Android and has a USB slot, then it may be possible that malware designed for smartphones could end up on your Smart TV and enable hackers to take control of the built-in webcam. Although it is true that malware doesn’t appear to be specifically targeting Smart TVs at the moment, it remains true that phishing attacks could lead to malware. For this reason, taking care of what you open on your TV is advised.
  1. Avoid talking to strangers – and if you do – be careful about opening any links that they send you. This is also something that you should be careful to educate all members of your household about because children are a possible hazard when it comes to accidentally clicking links that lead to malware.

If you are afraid (or have reason to believe) that you have fallen victim to a revenge porn attack we strongly advise contacting the revenge porn hotline in the UK or the cyber civil rights website in the US; for information about how to proceed.


Ray Walsh I am a freelance journalist and blogger from England. I am highly interested in politics and in particular the subject of IR and I am an advocate for freedom of speech, equality and personal privacy. On a more personal level I like to stay active, love snowboarding, swimming and cycling, enjoy seafood and love to listen to trap music.

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