Samsung has begun an “urgent” investigation into recent claims that certain intelligence agencies had found ways to spy on viewers using the company’s smart TVs.
WikiLeaks, a whistleblowing website, recently published several thousand documents in which it allegedly reveals the CIA’s various tools for hacking, such as techniques that turn everyday household technology into devices for spying.
The leaked documents claim that some software had been developed that enable the Samsung brand’s smart TVs to enable recording on private conversations without users being aware or knowing that their settings allow for such an infiltration of privacy.
The project was named ‘Weeping Angel’, and according to the documents, it included contributions from the United Kingdoms’s own spy agency, MI5.
Samsung said in a statement: “Protecting consumers’ privacy and the security of our devices is a top priority at Samsung. We are aware of the report in question and are urgently looking into the matter.”
The documents leaked to the public claimed a “fake-off” setting had been created that tricked users of the Smart TV to thinking the screens were off, but rather they were secretly recording conversations and audio that were sent off to the CIA’s servers the second that the television screen had been turned on, and reconnected to the internet.
Many of today’s internet-connected television sets come equipped with options for voice control, meaning that a microphone is fitted inside of the device so that it can pick up user voice commands.
Other Tech Responses
Apple has also released a response to reports by reiterating the company’s stance regarding consumer privacy, however it urged users that they should always ensure their personal devices are functioning on the most recent security software.
“Apple is deeply committed to safeguarding our customers’ privacy and security,” the company said in their statement.
“While our initial analysis indicates that many of the issues leaked today were already patched in the latest iOS, we will continue work to rapidly address any identified vulnerabilities.
“We always urge customers to download the latest iOS to make sure they have the most recent security updates.”