Yes, Your Smart TV Dongle Can Be Hacked

A new report finds vulnerabilities in a low-cost Roku and Apple TV competitor.

Yes, Your Smart TV Dongle Can Be Hacked
[Photo: Flickr user TAKA@P.P.R.S]

Smart television dongles could have security lapses that give outsiders access to home networks, according to a newly issued report. Security firm Check Point said it found vulnerabilities in EZCast, a dongle that streams content from phones and computers to television screens and sells for $20 as a Roku and Google Chromecast alternative.

The vulnerability gives network access to anyone who either obtains a Wi-Fi password or sends an infected link to a user; Kellman Meghu, Check Point’s head of virtual datacenter infrastructure, says that the discovery “Is not unusual in this industry. Part of our challenge is making sure detection is part of the process. For us as a security company, this highlights the need for much more stringent controls in this situation.” Security researchers have been looking at potential vulnerabilities in streaming video players for some time; earlier this summer, for example, hackers managed to crack into a Roku.

Check Point says they discovered the vulnerability this past summer and contacted EZCast with no success. The dongle is primarily used by budget-minded customers and users looking to cast laptop screens onto larger televisions; Fast Company has reached out to EZCast for comment and will update this article as needed.

About the author

Based in sunny Los Angeles, Neal Ungerleider covers science and technology for Fast Company. He also works as a consultant, writes books, and does other things.

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