Author Topic: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs  (Read 6238 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Galenbo

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1474
  • Country: be
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2017, 05:09:09 pm »
... The microphone scares me though. This is what the FBI does.

http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Skrommel/
--> PushToTalk
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.
 

Online Red Squirrel

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2465
  • Country: ca
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2017, 07:15:27 pm »
They communicate via WiFi/internet.
A packet-sniffer would be more useful than a spectrum analyzer. We know the spectrum (2.4GH WiFi)
If there aren't already videos up on YouTube about how it is done, the research is probably already underway and will be reported in detail at the next hacker convention.

Wouldn't that require that there is an open wifi spot somewhere though?  It would limit how many TVs can communicate.  Or perhaps they all communicate with each other as a mesh, and it only takes one open wifi in the nieghbourhood to work?

Or is it actually counting on people actually plugging them in or configuring it for their wifi network.  Are people that daft? (ok maybe you don't have to answer that.  :-DD )

Suppose it's possible to communicate via HDMI too.  For example my TV remote can control my Raspberry Pi, which is connected to the network.   Perhaps it can send other data too.
 

Offline Richard Crowley

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4310
  • Country: us
  • KE7GKP
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2017, 12:44:12 am »
Or is it actually counting on people actually plugging them in or configuring it for their wifi network.
Of course they are connecting them to their internet service (whether hard-wired or WiFi)  "Smart" TVs can only operate if they have access to the internet.  A standalone TV receiving broadcast signals through the air from an antenna can't transmit anything.
Quote
Suppose it's possible to communicate via HDMI too.  For example my TV remote can control my Raspberry Pi, which is connected to the network.   Perhaps it can send other data too.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI#HEC
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 12:46:29 am by Richard Crowley »
 

Offline Dinsdale

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 77
  • Country: us
    • pretzelogic
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2017, 11:48:32 am »
I had DirectTV service via the normal dish antenna. I have internet service via a microwave link and hardwired ethernet from there to my computer -- no WIFI. My TVs have never been connected to the internet or phone lines.
During service calls, the rep was able to tell me the make and model of my TV. I have always wondered how they got that info.
This can't be happening.
 

Online Red Squirrel

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2465
  • Country: ca
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2017, 01:35:37 pm »
Or is it actually counting on people actually plugging them in or configuring it for their wifi network.
Of course they are connecting them to their internet service (whether hard-wired or WiFi)  "Smart" TVs can only operate if they have access to the internet.  A standalone TV receiving broadcast signals through the air from an antenna can't transmit anything.

Wow so it won't let you use it unless you connect it to a network?   I guess when my TV breaks I'll be replacing it with a projector or a giant monitor or something.  I hate the way this stuff is going.  So many things that need internet now just for the sake of it.
 

Offline Photon939

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 112
  • Country: us
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2017, 01:43:27 pm »
I had DirectTV service via the normal dish antenna. I have internet service via a microwave link and hardwired ethernet from there to my computer -- no WIFI. My TVs have never been connected to the internet or phone lines.
During service calls, the rep was able to tell me the make and model of my TV. I have always wondered how they got that info.

If your DirecTV box is connected via HDMI then it can get an ID string that way. The same way your PC can tell the make and model of your monitor. (as well as compatible resolutions) As a side note VGA has this capability as well.
 

Offline Richard Crowley

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4310
  • Country: us
  • KE7GKP
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2017, 02:21:08 pm »
Wow so it won't let you use it unless you connect it to a network? 
Its not a matter of "won't let you use it".  All the features of a "smart TV" DEPEND on an internet connection. All that information is not transmitted with the program. It is only accessible through the "side-channel" connection to the intetnet. Exactly like the one you are using to read this text. The only way you got to read this is by requesting it from the server. And now everyone knows that you are reading this.  A "smart TV" is just a computer like this one, but with a more limited user interface and a more specialized function (finding TV content and information about them). The statistics (or individual information) about you reading this message are no different than the data that is available (and likely gathered at some level) when you watch a TV show.
Quote
I guess when my TV breaks I'll be replacing it with a projector or a giant monitor or something. 
That makes no difference.  It isn't about what is being used to display the image. It is about what is being used to request and receive and decide the image (the computer or cable box or Chromecast or FireStick or "Smart TV" or whatever).
Quote
I hate the way this stuff is going.  So many things that need internet now just for the sake of it.
Many people are coming to agree that things are being "connected" just for the novelty or sales gimmic.  But "Smart TV" is completely DEPENDENT on an internet connection. Its not a novelty. It is a requirement. And if you don't like it (neither do I), then you can't take advantage of the features.  They are not important to me, so I watch TV from broadcast stations over the air.  But when I watch TV shows on YouTube or Hulu or CBS or whatever, I am aware that I am being tracked.  So like most things you must weigh the trade-off between benefit and consequences.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 02:24:30 pm by Richard Crowley »
 

Offline Dinsdale

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 77
  • Country: us
    • pretzelogic
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #32 on: March 17, 2017, 03:12:18 pm »
Quote
If your DirecTV box is connected via HDMI then it can get an ID string that way.
Yes, HDMI from my TV to the satellite box.
Then how to the service rep?
This can't be happening.
 

Offline Richard Crowley

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4310
  • Country: us
  • KE7GKP
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #33 on: March 17, 2017, 04:04:53 pm »
Yes, HDMI from my TV to the satellite box.
Then how to the service rep?
Do you have pay-per-view?
Is your satellite box connected to WiFi?  Local Ethernet?  Telephone line?
Unless you have satellite-delivered internet service, the satellite box can't talk back via satellite.
But your decoder box must have some link back to the mother-ship.
 

Offline boffin

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 958
  • Country: ca
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2017, 04:25:12 pm »
What's new about this? 

I've heard politicians say they spy from a Microwave Oven :-DD
 

Offline Dinsdale

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 77
  • Country: us
    • pretzelogic
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2017, 04:56:10 pm »
I meant TV to cover "everything".
I have a TV, stereo, VCR, DVD/BluRay, satellite box, and LNA. That's every active element I can think of in my entertainment system. There are two hard wired floor speakers to the stereo, and an OTA antenna to the TV.
I run two PCs, one is the gateway to my ISP (described previously), the other internally networked with hard-wired ethernet.
There is no WIFI in the house. There is only Bluetooth when I run those as related to my electronics projects. Those were not on during the service calls.  I don't have NEST, any boxes that listen to my voice commands, any appliances that connect to more than the wall outlet, and no security system at all (nothing running on my house wiring or via any radio signals).
There is no internet other than described. I do not have land-line phone service. I have one cell phone, a TracFone, LG850g, which is not even a "smart phone".
No other equipment or connections have ever existed previously in my house.
I do not dispute the fact that data is not transmitted back to DirecTV via satellite. Yet they know my TV make and model (of both TVs that I have owned at different times).
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 05:02:19 pm by Dinsdale »
This can't be happening.
 

Online Red Squirrel

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2465
  • Country: ca
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2017, 05:59:44 pm »
Wow so it won't let you use it unless you connect it to a network? 
Its not a matter of "won't let you use it".  All the features of a "smart TV" DEPEND on an internet connection. All that information is not transmitted with the program. It is only accessible through the "side-channel" connection to the intetnet. Exactly like the one you are using to read this text. The only way you got to read this is by requesting it from the server. And now everyone knows that you are reading this.  A "smart TV" is just a computer like this one, but with a more limited user interface and a more specialized function (finding TV content and information about them). The statistics (or individual information) about you reading this message are no different than the data that is available (and likely gathered at some level) when you watch a TV show.
Quote
I guess when my TV breaks I'll be replacing it with a projector or a giant monitor or something. 
That makes no difference.  It isn't about what is being used to display the image. It is about what is being used to request and receive and decide the image (the computer or cable box or Chromecast or FireStick or "Smart TV" or whatever).
Quote
I hate the way this stuff is going.  So many things that need internet now just for the sake of it.
Many people are coming to agree that things are being "connected" just for the novelty or sales gimmic.  But "Smart TV" is completely DEPENDENT on an internet connection. Its not a novelty. It is a requirement. And if you don't like it (neither do I), then you can't take advantage of the features.  They are not important to me, so I watch TV from broadcast stations over the air.  But when I watch TV shows on YouTube or Hulu or CBS or whatever, I am aware that I am being tracked.  So like most things you must weigh the trade-off between benefit and consequences.

But if I just want to use the TV to display something from another source (ex: Raspberry PI) then why should I need to plug the TV itself in the internet?  I just want a TV to be a screen.   They should make the smart stuff optional.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3599
  • Country: us
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2017, 06:50:23 pm »
All of the smart TVs use some form of internet connection - an ethernet plug, WiFi, Bluetooth.  Shut that down and it is just a TV.  Even if you wear a tinfoil hat, you have control of the connector, or the connection.  Don't allow that device onto your WiFi or to link Bluetooth.  Don't plug the ethernet cable in.
 

Online Red Squirrel

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2465
  • Country: ca
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2017, 08:29:36 pm »
All of the smart TVs use some form of internet connection - an ethernet plug, WiFi, Bluetooth.  Shut that down and it is just a TV.  Even if you wear a tinfoil hat, you have control of the connector, or the connection.  Don't allow that device onto your WiFi or to link Bluetooth.  Don't plug the ethernet cable in.

Will the TV still work though, I'm getting the impression that these are setup so they don't work at all.  Or is that not the case?

Though TBH I originally thought these used some other type of RF that is not within your control, did not figure stopping the spying was as simple as not configuring the network for it.   So if you can simply not plug in the network, but still use it as a TV, then that is a super easy way to solve the spying problem.   

Of course you won't stop them from spying on your internet, but to me there are two levels of spying here, spying of your activities outside your house - not much you can do, then there is spying on your activities within your own house - aka backdoors in systems.  This there is more you can do, and may as well do your best to prevent it.  It's also why I won't touch windows 10, and I am very diligent about what connects to my network.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 09:39:04 pm by Red Squirrel »
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3599
  • Country: us
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2017, 12:23:53 am »
All of the smart TVs use some form of internet connection - an ethernet plug, WiFi, Bluetooth.  Shut that down and it is just a TV.  Even if you wear a tinfoil hat, you have control of the connector, or the connection.  Don't allow that device onto your WiFi or to link Bluetooth.  Don't plug the ethernet cable in.

Will the TV still work though, I'm getting the impression that these are setup so they don't work at all.  Or is that not the case?

Though TBH I originally thought these used some other type of RF that is not within your control, did not figure stopping the spying was as simple as not configuring the network for it.   So if you can simply not plug in the network, but still use it as a TV, then that is a super easy way to solve the spying problem.   

Of course you won't stop them from spying on your internet, but to me there are two levels of spying here, spying of your activities outside your house - not much you can do, then there is spying on your activities within your own house - aka backdoors in systems.  This there is more you can do, and may as well do your best to prevent it.  It's also why I won't touch windows 10, and I am very diligent about what connects to my network.

I can't speak for all makes and models, but  the ones I have owned work fine as TVs without the internet connection.  You just don't get access to the "smart" features.  Things like Hulu, YouTube and schedule services.  Since I am on a data limited internet connection I routinely block these bandwidth wasters.
 

Offline Richard Crowley

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4310
  • Country: us
  • KE7GKP
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2017, 12:41:04 am »
I have never seen a "Smart TV" that REQUIRES a network connection to operate as a simple broadcast receiver.  The "smart" features are EXTRA on top of the basic TV receiver/display functionality.

I wouldn't be shocked if someday there were "smart TV" products that require a network connection. But I'm thinking that the average consumer wouldn't find that terribly attractive.
 

Online Red Squirrel

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2465
  • Country: ca
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2017, 04:35:48 am »
This is good to know then, so basically if you don't connect it to any network, then the spy stuff can't work at all, but it will still work as a regular TV?  I always had the impressing this spy stuff was using some other type of communication like 3G and not actually relying on the user connecting it. 
 

Offline bitwelder

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 847
  • Country: fi
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2017, 08:10:40 am »
I wouldn't be shocked if someday there were "smart TV" products that require a network connection. But I'm thinking that the average consumer wouldn't find that terribly attractive.
What if some vendor sells an amazingly specced, giant-sized smart TV screen at a very attractive price.
The little string attached is that the owner has to keep it on the network to keep its 'license' valid (à la AutoCAD Eagle), perhaps for a fee.


 

Offline CatalinaWOW

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3599
  • Country: us
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2017, 06:18:51 am »
I wouldn't be shocked if someday there were "smart TV" products that require a network connection. But I'm thinking that the average consumer wouldn't find that terribly attractive.
What if some vendor sells an amazingly specced, giant-sized smart TV screen at a very attractive price.
The little string attached is that the owner has to keep it on the network to keep its 'license' valid (à la AutoCAD Eagle), perhaps for a fee.

The market will speak, just as it will for Autocad.  If that TV price is low enough they will sell a bunch.  Then it will depend on how much they are paid for the information they gather.
 

Online Red Squirrel

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2465
  • Country: ca
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2017, 06:29:07 am »
I wouldn't be shocked if someday there were "smart TV" products that require a network connection. But I'm thinking that the average consumer wouldn't find that terribly attractive.
What if some vendor sells an amazingly specced, giant-sized smart TV screen at a very attractive price.
The little string attached is that the owner has to keep it on the network to keep its 'license' valid (à la AutoCAD Eagle), perhaps for a fee.

The market will speak, just as it will for Autocad.  If that TV price is low enough they will sell a bunch.  Then it will depend on how much they are paid for the information they gather.

Sadly the general public does not really seem to care.  I could see it working. It works for Office 360.  And John Deere tractors, and lot of other stuff.

I personally can't stand the concept. I want to be able to actually fully own and have control over what I buy. 
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3599
  • Country: us
Re: Wikileaks: CIA has tools to snoop via TVs
« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2017, 06:44:16 am »

I personally can't stand the concept. I want to be able to actually fully own and have control over what I buy.

Me too.  That is why I don't have Office 360 or other similar products.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf