Hackers Compromise Third-Party Android TV’s

Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross Senior Writer
Tyler Cross Tyler Cross Senior Writer

Hackers found a way to compromise the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This attack saw them replacing the images on their televisions with images of brutality.

Specifically, these images were of victims of the ongoing Gaza conflicts displayed over a somber green background. The background used imagery similar to the Matrix series of movies.

“We have no choice but to hack to deliver this message to you,” said an AI-generated news anchor.

After delivering their message, grim images of the conflict began playing across people’s televisions. Their message spoke out about Palestinian women and children being taken to Israeli prisons and locked away.

The attack was most likely carried out with heavy political motivations. These types of attacks aren’t new. In the past, hackers in Russia used similar tactics to display images and propaganda of Vladimir Putin across television screens.

“Before I could grasp what was happening, I found myself watching a bespectacled AI anchor discussing the atrocities, accompanied by a ticker displaying the number of Palestinians killed and wounded so far,” explains a witness who spoke with the Khaleej Times. “The videos were quite graphic, and I had children around. I didn’t want them exposed to it, but we were caught unprepared. Every channel we switched to displayed the same content.”

The attacks were most likely carried out by using third-party Android set-top boxes that let users connect to television programs around the world. A vulnerability within the program would allow hackers to use it as a way to infiltrate and take over streams.

The makers of these programs have yet to patch their ability to be used this way and the number of hacks being carried out through set-top boxes is currently unknown. However, the company did reach out to the Khaleej Times, promising to fix the vulnerability and acknowledging the seriousness of the hack.

About the Author
Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross
Senior Writer

About the Author

Tyler is a writer at SafetyDetectives with a passion for researching all things tech and cybersecurity. Prior to joining the SafetyDetectives team, he worked with cybersecurity products hands-on for more than five years, including password managers, antiviruses, and VPNs and learned everything about their use cases and function. When he isn't working as a "SafetyDetective", he enjoys studying history, researching investment opportunities, writing novels, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends."

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