Our Smart TVs aren't that smart after all. While the whole debate around Smart TVs being prone to hacking has been going on since the advent of the technology, but now a researcher named Rafael Scheel has discovered something that could cause some major troubles for the Smart TV industry.

The Oneconsult security researcher has brought to fore an attack that is capable of controlling smart TVs by embedding code into digital (specifically, DVB-T) over-the-air broadcasts. Yes, that means, exploits can now attack your smart TV through over-the-air signals.

During the attack, the hackers take advantage of the shortcomings in a set's web browser in order to get a grassroot-level access and issue virtually any command that they like. One is only required to have a transmission that is capable of reaching compatible TVs, and at least one attack will function without even revealing that something is a miss.

According to Scheel, the hacking technique has been tested to work on at two latest Samsung Smart TV models. And, yes, it is very possible to alter the code in order to compromise other web-enabled televisions.

If there's one thing that has emerged positive in this whole fiasco is the specificity of the attack. As of now, only some countries are known to make use of DVB-T, and even fewer support the hybrid broadcast broadband TV format (HbbTV) that is required in order to make the attack happen. The victim of this attack is also required to have his TV connected to the internet and be tuned into a DVB-T channel. This means, North Americans that are watching ATSC broadcasts have absolutely nothing to fret right now. Further, one is also good to go if they make use of a gaming console or media hub for entertainment purposes

Scheel's discovery underlines the importance of locking down smart TVs, which aren't treated to security updates as frequently as we get on our smartphones and PCs. While comprising individual TVs through conventional internet-only attacks is one thing, but compromising multiple TVs within a certain range is just a diabolical act. Hence, it is high time the Smart TV manufacturers start treating security as a priority if they want to prevent such attacks from finding a place in our reality.

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