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While You Are Watching TV, The TV is Watching You

In a privacy experiment, The Washington post tracked four of the most popular brands, and found out that once every couple of minutes the TV will send out a report to the company, letting know what you are watching.

           Have you noticed TV sets going down in price? While the making of TVs are getting cheaper, it is because of the data that the TV makers are able to sell to different marketing firms. With Americans watching around 3 ½ hours of screen time a day, e marketers are able to watch your search history of your interests, joys, and interests. You may be asking yourself when did I give permission to do this; well at the time of set up, all that fine little print and needing to check the box to proceed is when tens of millions of people gave permission. The e-marketers say that they only track the information to make the recommendations more personalized to the viewer. The marketing firms are saying that it makes TVs more like Facebook, there it can be measured, and the ads are targeted for performance.

           U.S. Congress passed a law in 1988 Called Video Privacy Protection Act, after reporters had published a Supreme Court nominee’s video rental record, that in 2017 the FTC went after Vizio for being unfair in tracking the screens of customers. After that the Federal Trade Commission told the TV industry to be upfront and make people opt into their marketing plans, now people are just checking the boxes and 9 out of 10 Americans are enrolled in the marketing plan. The data division of Vizio made a software that is more like a mousetrap called ACR, with this software will be used in consumer science as well, they want to know how many ads they have to see before they go buy the product. Just think of all the things they will be able to advertise, look at elections, and the voter database to see how to greatly the difference is. ACR is collecting data that will allow them to make the industry to make money itself, and with making more ads going towards what the consumers want, the networks will get paid more for their ads and could lead to better shows, and lower costs too.

Open post

Android hacked and crypto mined

Android Defenses Breached

On to some more crypto-hacker news, Chinese researchers have found hackers to be turning internet connections into tools for creating caches of the crypto coin Monero.

The devices that have been recognized as being used in this manner are Android phones and TV’s. Thus far 7000 devices in Chine have been hacked and used in the aforementioned manner. The devices processing powers were used in conjunction with an internet connection to produce or mine more Monero coin.

Thought this strategy is new, there is talk that this form of attack will become common place in the near future. Almost everyone now a days has a computer or phone connected to the internet, meaning there are plenty of sources for this to occur. Computers, IoT devices, phones and tablets could all be vulnerable soon enough.

The lab that discovered this breach, Netlab360, stated that this device hacking was possible due to an open port, a function in a device that allows the operating system to communicate with the internet. The port 5555 was the main form of access and allowed the hackers to retrieve a list of Android devices that were unsecured. Once the infiltration was complete, the hackers had released a malicious software known as a worm, and not the kind that birds eat, the kind that would spread to other unsecured devices.

The port that was abused to achieve this attack was not opened by the unauthorized party, but rather hitched a ride. The 5555 ADB ports were reported to have been open already, however there is still an ongoing investigation as to why these ports would have been opened.

Moral of this story, use secured networks and ensure the security of your devices is in place.

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