Are connected TVs, STBs at risk for computer viruses?

Digital TV specialist Ocean Blue Software is warning that connected TVs and set-top boxes, just like personal computers, are at risk of being infected by viruses unless they have adequate protection.

The company said the majority of new connected TVs and set-top boxes, most of which are based on the Linux OS and use widely available software packages such as graphics engines and codecs, will be exposed to new forms of viruses never before associated with TVs and STBs.

"Almost any TV based product with a processor, enough memory and an Internet connection is at risk," said Ken Helps, founder and CEO of OBS. "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."

Helps said opening Digital TV receivers to PC centric technologies means that anyone can author the content and with an more PPV services, personal details, such as credit card information, will be stored within TVs and set-top boxes. 

For more:
- see this release

Related news:
A connected Apple TV could make hay where Google TV, others made mistakes
Connected Apple TV could earn $6 billion for company by 2014

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