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Samsung Smart TVs and Roku Have Security Vulnerabilities: Consumer Reports

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Roku devices and Samsung smart TVs have easy-to-exploit security vulnerabilities, according to testing carried out by Consumer Reports. “We found that a relatively unsophisticated hacker could change channels, play offensive content, or crank up the volume,” the magazine says. “This could be done over the web, from thousands of miles away.”


Consumer Reports points out that suddenly having channels change could be confusing or even frightening to someone who was unaware of why it was happening. A smart TV is highly customizable and allows users to watch Internet-based sites like Netflix or Hulu on their televisions; however, the access to the Internet exposes them to hackers more than older TVs.

Consumer Reports found vulnerabilities in a TCL TV model using the Roku system, and they say it is also present in other models running the Roku platform. This is how the hackers could get in, according to Consumer Reports:

“The problem we found involved the application programming interface, or API, the program that lets developers make their own products work with the Roku platform. ‘Roku devices have a totally unsecured remote control API enabled by default,’ says Eason Goodale, Disconnect’s lead engineer. ‘This means that even extremely unsophisticated hackers can take control of Rokus. It’s less of a locked door and more of a see-through curtain next to a neon “We’re open!” sign.’

“To become a victim of a real-world attack, a TV user would need to be using a phone or laptop running on the same WiFi network as the television, and then visit a site or download a mobile app with malicious code. That could happen, for instance, if they were tricked into clicking on a link in a phishing email or if they visited a site containing an advertisement with the code embedded.”

In a blog post, Roku’s Gary Ellison describes the Consumer Reports study as a “mischaracterization of a feature.” He says the application programming interface can be turned off “by going to Settings>System>Advanced System Settings>External Control>Disabled.”

Ellison says there is “no security risk.” However, company spokeswoman Tricia Mifsud tells NPR that “a consumer could click on something that exposes their computer,” and the remote control app does allow for changing the volume or channel. At the same time, she stresses that this can cause limited damage — “there is no security risk to a customer’s account or to the Roku platform.”

The apparent Samsung security gap “was harder to spot,” Consumer Reports says. “It could be exploited only if the user had previously employed a remote control app on a mobile device that works with the TV, and then opened the malicious webpage using that device.”

Samsung has reportedly said that it is evaluating the situation.

Gadgets

HONOR Pad 8 is Now Available in the UAE

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HONOR has announced the official availability of the all-new HONOR Pad 8 in the UAE market following record-breaking preorders. The all-new HONOR Pad 8 delivers unrivalled entertainment experience in a sleek and compact design. Boasting an impressive 12-inch 2K HONOR FullView display, 8 Speakers with DTS: X ULTRA, and Multi-Screen Collaboration, the HONOR Pad 8 pushes industry benchmarks to help users stay entertained to the maximum.

“HONOR innovates and provides state-of-the-art products based on an in-depth understanding of local customer needs and consumer behavior, ensuring that each market receives the best-fit model,” said Zac Li, GCC Country Manager of HONOR Device Co, Ltd “We’re thrilled that HONOR Pad 8 has been getting lots of attention in the last few days and the preorder sales hit a new record in the UAE market. We will continue to bring more exciting products to the UAE market to ensure users benefit from industry-leading devices that deliver a premium experience.”

HONOR products are positioned differently to suit different customers. HONOR Pad 8 is designed to deliver a truly immersive entertainment experience with a big display, alongside powerful speakers, perfect for those who need to fulfill their entertainment needs. Additionally, the HONOR Pad 8 comes with the latest HONOR Magic UI 6.1 based on Android 12, offering a range of enhanced, customized features to provide a smart experience to users like Multi-Screen Collaboration, HONOR Share, APP Extender and Multi-Window Viewing.

Inspired by the sky at dawn, the HONOR Pad 8 is available now in classic Blue Hour in UAE markets via HONOR Online Store and Sharaf DG at an affordable price of AED 1199 with free gifts worth AED 248 including HONOR Flip Cover and HONOR CHOICE X2.

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Accessories

Logitech Launches its Aurora Collection in the Gulf Region

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Logitech G introduced the Aurora Collection in the Gulf region, a new collection featuring the G735 Wireless Gaming HeadsetG715 Wireless Gaming KeyboardG713 Gaming KeyboardG705 Wireless Gaming Mouse. The new collection was designed while addressing the needs and wants of women gamers and appealing to all gamers who are looking for a  playful design and curated experience.

The Aurora Collection has a distinctive aesthetic and design language. It also includes Logitech G’s advanced gaming-grade technologies like LIGHTSPEED high-performance wireless technology and Blue VO!CE microphone technology. The result is a collection of gear that invites all gamers to come as they are while delivering the advanced feature set all gamers expect.

The Aurora Collection was conceptualized based on the feedback from women gamers across the community and brought to life by a team of predominantly women innovation, design, engineering, and marketing leaders at Logitech. The collection was created to meet the gaming desires and needs of an underrepresented segment of gamers and reimagine the future of gaming where representation is firmly present.

The Aurora Collection consists of:

  • G735 Wireless Gaming Headset – Featuring a White Mist finish, ethereal RGB lighting, and on-ear dual-audio mixing, the G735 is a versatile option for any player. G735 is the first Logitech G headset with the feature to modulate a player’s voice.  Players can enjoy long gaming sessions with 56+ hr battery life (without lighting), and experience wireless freedom through Logitech G’s award-winning LIGHTSPEED wireless technology, and Bluetooth.
  • G715 and G713 Mechanical Gaming Keyboards – The G715 Wireless Gaming Keyboard and G713 Gaming Keyboard deliver low-key vibes with high-key performance so players can express themselves and play their way. A compact, tenkeyless layout, and adjustable height ensure comfort all day long. Pack it up and place it anywhere with a rechargeable battery that delivers 25 hours of non-stop gaming, and LIGHTSPEED wireless or Bluetooth connectivity. Both keyboards come with an included Cloud-Soft palm rest for all-day comfort.
  • G705 Wireless Gaming Mouse –G705 Wireless Gaming Mouse is purpose-built for smaller hands with compact contoured fit, and advanced gaming technology. At just 85 grams, G705 is designed for long-lasting, lightweight comfort and performance. With a gaming-grade sensor, ultra-responsive LIGHTSPEED wireless, Bluetooth connectivity, and an easy-reach DPI-cycling button, gamers can play their best.
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Events

Meta Connect 2022 Date Announced

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Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and Founder of Meta announced on his Facebook account the official October 11 event date for Meta Connect 2022. In the same post, the CEO also added a new image of Project: Cambria, the long-awaited follow-up to the Meta Quest.

Meta Connect, formally Facebook Connect, is an annual online showcase event highlighting the firm’s technology updates and roadmaps. Last year’s event was exceedingly notable because the Menlo Park-based firm publicly rebranded itself as Meta for the first time.

The event also saw Meta refocusing away from its social media foundations, moving the firm towards immersive Web3 technology and software. The Menlo Park-based firm set out its goals to create new XR technology and claim a foothold on the Metaverse.

The popularity of Metaverse technology has sky-rocketed thanks to last year’s Connect event. During the showcase, the firm introduced its vision of the Metaverse as an immersive social space where users can work and socialise.

Since the event, the firm has debuted its Horizons Metaverse globally. The Menlo Park-based also uses the fledging service as a testbed where budding immersive developers can design and distribute Metaverse content. The firm also supports Horizon developers with a series of XR funds and boot camps.

Meta Connect, formally Facebook Connect, is an annual online showcase event highlighting the firm’s technology updates and roadmaps. Last year’s event was exceedingly notable because the Menlo Park-based firm publicly rebranded itself as Meta for the first time.

The event also saw Meta refocusing away from its social media foundations, moving the firm towards immersive Web3 technology and software. The Menlo Park-based firm set out its goals to create new XR technology and claim a foothold on the Metaverse.

The popularity of Metaverse technology has sky-rocketed thanks to last year’s Connect event. During the showcase, the firm introduced its vision of the Metaverse as an immersive social space where users can work and socialise. Since the event, the firm has debuted its Horizons Metaverse globally. The Menlo Park-based also uses the fledging service as a testbed where budding immersive developers can design and distribute Metaverse content. The firm also supports Horizon developers with a series of XR funds and boot camps.

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