Thursday, 25 May, 2017

Samsung TVs Reportedly Ship With Major Hacking Flaws

Report: Samsung's Android replacement rife with security flaws Security expert: Samsung's Tizen OS is riddled with vulnerabilities
Javier Burns | 06 April, 2017, 02:57

He said Tizen's code may be "the worst he'd ever seen" and that the people who wrote it "don't have any understanding of security".

"They made a lot of wrong assumptions about where they needed encryption", Neiderman said.

"Given that Tizen is now running on 30 million devices and that Samsung plans to have 10 million Tizen phones this year, the potential for these devices to become members of the next big botnet is very real", he warned. "But right now Tizen is not safe enough for that", Neiderman says.

Samsung is not hiding away the fact that it wishes to replace Android on the mobile operating system market but Google is not so easy to defeat.

The security researcher told Motherboard that he has been discussing the flaws with Samsung, though the company hasn't said when-or even if-it might offer a fix.

In February, Oneconsult's Rafael Scheel demonstrated how terrestrial radio signals could be harnessed to hack a number of Smart TVs from Samsung.

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This means there are potentially huge amounts of connected hardware running Tizen simply waiting to be cracked by hobby hackers through to cyber criminals, all thanks to the what Tizen containing what Neiderman deems to be basic coding flaws.

One security flaw involving TizenStore, Tizen's app store, could let a hacker pack malicious code with a software update. Built on a Linux kernel like the Android, and running on C++ and HTML5, it was developed with a large chunk of open source software running on top. He believes that numerous 40 flaws-called zero day exploits because there are no fixes and hackers could take advantage of them right now-were caused by Samsung coding errors that were never discovered in product testing.

Wow. Neiderman found no less than 40 zero-day vulnerabilities that allow the hackers to take control of the Tizen devices (Gear S3 included) remotely.

A key example is the Tizen Store. Operating systems are now being replaced by IoT devices, but the security programs are not keeping with the pace of innovation. Since this particular app can access and change any part of the system, a malicious hacker exploiting the flaw would have absolute and total control over your Tizen device. The irony is that it has the highest level of clearance on a Tizen device.

And Tizen failed to use encryption for secure connections when transmitting certain data. Tizen is basically an Android replacement, Motherboard explains, an open-source platform Samsung has been rolling out over the past few years.

Tom's Guide has reached out to Samsung for comment and will update this story when we receive a reply. However, Samsung did tell Motherboard that it's now working with Neidermanto "mitigate any potential vulnerabilities".

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