Vizio tv firmware hack
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More and more businesses are encouraging consumers to personalize their goods, understanding that the extra revenue produced by selling a bespoke product would more than offset the increased manufacturing costs. It’s fantastic for us as customers, but we still have a long way to go before this mentality pervades the whole industry.
[Keegan Ryan] recently bought a TV and decided to replace the stock boot screen logo with something he made himself, but the package didn’t have an official way to do so. So, of course, he wanted to break it open and do it the hard way. The resulting write-up is a fascinating step-by-step account of the trials and tribulations that finally led to him having his coveted custom boot screen, and it just might be enough to inspire you to take a screwdriver to your own flat panel at home.
As a security researcher for NCC Community, [Keegan] thought it would be a fun twist to adjust the boot splash to say SPECTRE in honor of the notorious x86 microarchitecture attack. In practice, it meant simply swapping two letters, but [Keegan] still had to find out where the picture was kept, how it was stored, and write a modified version to the TV without letting the magic smoke escape. He felt that since the TV wasn’t a “smart” model, there wouldn’t be much protection to prevent him from poking around.
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After a long day, it was one of those lazy evenings spent just watching TV. I was drained, but I couldn’t stop thinking about a weakness I discovered earlier in a router that someone had given me. Finding a fault in such a product is always amusing because you always see something that no one else, except the developers and probably the company’s tech support team, is expected to see.
Another menu appeared on the left side of the screen after I opened the settings and entered the code on my remote control. Almost every category it displayed was inaccessible. I was only able to activate “Hotel Mode” and see the set’s version number.
I decided to learn more about the television. There was a tab called “data” in the settings. When I opened it, all I saw were some new version numbers. Then I noticed something else: I could actually call my television set.
If you work in information security, you can’t help but test some of the payloads you use every day on various input fields. It might be a GET parameter in your router’s web interface, the control panel of your new printer, or a TV, as in my case. So I wanted to rename my television to “television sleep 5.”
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I have a Vizio and see it all the time doing DLNA and uPnP things, but I’ve never looked into what I could do with it. It makes me wonder what my TV will now do, or who is watching our viewing habits..lol.
Depending on the model and firmware of your smart TV, you might be shocked at what kind of data is being sent back to LG headquarters in South Korea (albeit unencrypted). You will see what I mean by using Wireshark or something similar to look at consumer browsing patterns and channels being watched.
I’ve previously linked to a few Smart TVs for the sole purpose of catching browsing traffic. I don’t have time to “mess with people,” but the above is a realistic hack for around the house.
21 smart tv life hacks you didn’t know your tv had | how
1. I despise the term “smart TV.” It’s a “sly TV” show. 2. In my building, sly TVs never get Internet access. I don’t connect them to the internet through Ethernet, and I don’t configure their WiFi. If I have to allow someone access because they need a software update to fix a bug or something, I change the password on my guest wifi network to something different, configure the TV to use it, apply the fix, and then change the password back to the old value. 3. I’d rather trust some other video gadget in my house than a sneaky television. Although we prefer Apple TVs, there are a multitude of excellent alternatives that have a reputation for being privacy-conscious. Vizio has been sued for spying on my TV viewing habits, not Apple. Apple hasn’t been listed by the FBI. 4. All sly TV OSes are garbage with lousy apps. Put an Apple TV (or a Roku or a Fire Stick or…) in the HDMI jack and your viewing experience can improve dramatically. I’m not recommending that you make your television worse; rather, I recommend that you make it much, much better. I don’t want to come off as suspicious, but sneaky TVs have a history of reporting your viewing habits, inserting ads, and otherwise bringing spyware into your living room, according to one headline after another. This isn’t some big new revelation; it’s just another Tuesday in the press. Don’t put up with it any longer! There are far superior options.