Technology is making it easier than ever for the surveillance state to flourish.
America now knows that the National Security Agency is involved in the bulk collection of electronic communication data; wireless technology has made hacking, by government officials or criminals, a breeze for people with the right set of skills; and just about anything you do online can be tracked, logged and analyzed.
Despite privacy concerns stemming from ample evidence that government entities and corporations are using America’s addiction to technology to learn as much as possible about individual habits, beliefs and lifestyles—most of us still carry a smartphone and use the Internet on a daily basis.
But what if the same entities gathering information about us each time we use a cell phone or browse the web could get an even more intimate look into our lives— perhaps taking a peek into our living rooms once the gadgets have been powered down and threats to privacy are out of mind?
Well, according to a recent report from CNN, the technology to do so exists. And as American’s further technologize every aspect of their homes, there’s a realistic possibility that privacy in any form could become a thing of the past.
Security cameras, lights, heating control systems and even door locks and windows are now increasingly coming with features that allow users to control them remotely. Without proper security controls, there’s little to stop hackers from invading users’ privacy, stealing personal information or spying on people.
In the case of Samsung Smart TVs, iSEC researchers found that they could tap into the TV’s Web browser with ease, according to iSEC security analyst Josh Yavor. That gave hackers access to all the functions controlled by the browser, including the TV’s built-in camera.
“If there’s a vulnerability in any application, there’s a vulnerability in the entire TV,” said Aaron Grattafiori, also an analyst at iSEC.
Yavor and Grattafiori were also able to hack the browser in such a way that users would be sent to any website of the hacker’s choosing. While the hack would have been obvious if the website on the screen didn’t match the desired address, Yavor says there could be serious implications if a bad actor sent a user to a lookalike banking page and retrieved a user’s credentials.
Very quickly, “Luddite” seems to be shedding any shard of negative connotation, as technology becomes an ever-growing threat to privacy.