Friday, 8 January 2016

Android-based Smart TVs Hit By Backdoor Spread Via Malicious App

With the year-end shopping season over, many consumers now have new various smart gadgets in their homes. One particularly popular usage of this so-called Internet of Things (IoT) are smart TVs. These TVs are more than just passive display devices; many of them can even run Android apps as well. Some may find these features useful, but these capabilities bring their own risks.

Apps that allow users to watch channels from other parts of the world (that would otherwise be unavailable via other methods) are something that many users would find useful. However, some of these apps may put users at risk. These apps contain a backdoor that abuses an old flaw (CVE-2014-7911) in Android versions before Lollipop 5.0 (Cupcake 1.5 to Kitkat 4.4W.2). (Trend Micro detected these malicious apps as ANDROIDOS_ROOTSTV.A.)

Most smart TVs today use older versions of Android, which still contain this flaw. TV brands that sell vulnerable smart TVs include Changhong, Konka, Mi, Philips, Panasonic, and Sharp. In addition, other Android devices with older versions installed are also at risk: it just happens to be that because of these kinds of apps are mainly used in smart TVs or smart TV boxes.

The sites that distribute these malicious apps are located at the following URLs. These sites are under the H.TV name, with most visitors located in the United States or Canada.