Ocean Blue, a TV application software company, says the majority of new TVs and set-top boxes that allow for connection to the Internet will be exposed to new forms of viruses never before associated with TVs and STBs.
Discussing the safety of the Internet, Ken Helps, founder and CEO of OBS said, “Almost any TV based product with a processor, sufficient memory and an Internet connection is at risk.”
“That describes today’s digital TVs. Previously; these devices could only receive new software updates ‘Over the Air (OTA)’ which was controlled entirely by the broadcasters. But now, most are connected to the web and have built-in web browsers. Owners can access any internet address and potentially download anything,” he added.
Nowadays, most TV and set-top boxes use Linux and widely available software packages such as graphics engines and codecs. The danger is, by opening up Digital TV receivers to PC centric technologies would allow anyone the ability to author the content and with an increasing proliferation of Pay-Per-View services, personal details, such as credit card information, will be stored within TVs and set-top boxes.
Ocean Blue is attempting to divert such a threat by developing Neptune software, a firewall for its DVB core, but warns this will provide only rudimentary protection.
With thoughts on the Neptune software, Helps said, “TVs do not have sufficient power to run full Anti-Virus (AV) protection.” He added, “We have the technology to link our software to a cloud-based AV service that can provide AV scanning before downloads reach the TV set. That would solve the processing issue, and ensure protection was always up to date.” Charles West is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Prior to joining TMC (News - Alert) Charles worked with many gadget oriented sites that included running his own blog (TheTrendaholic.com) and Smartphone column for examiner.com. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Charles West