LG Smart TV Pwned By Android Ransomware….. & LG Refuses To Help

I am not a fan of Smart TVs as they have serious privacy issues. And to back that up, I cite these three examples of why you should not ever buy one. Now there’s another reason why you should not buy one, ever:

Darren Cauthon took to Twitter to reveal that his LG smart TV running Google TV was infected with malware when his family tried to install a movie streaming application. Judging from the photo he posted, this looks like a form of ransomware which requires him to pay to have access to the device restored.

But since the ransomware wasn’t necessarily developed for TVs, but for Android devices such as tablets and smartphones, it’s now completely bricked and no workaround seems to be able to restore it. Booting obviously leads to the same ransomware notification and other options are not available given the limited input on a TV.

Now here’s where it gets craptastic. When he went to LG for help, here’s what happened:

The only thing that could work, however, is flashing the stock firmware, which could only be possible with the firmware image provided by LG. Oddly enough, LG isn’t willing to help the owner remove the ransomware from his TV unless he pays, and according to his tweets, he could easily buy a new TV with the money that the company is asking for servicing.

The cost of removing the malware by flashing the stock firmware is $340, which, given the fact that this is an old TV running a platform that’s no longer supported, makes absolutely no sense.

Really? If I were LG, I’d be stepping up to help if for no other reason than to stop stories like this one from popping up on the Internet and generating bad press for them. Because that’s precisely what’s happening right now. Hopefully they step up and do the right thing if for no other reason to make this go away.

In the meantime, this shows that devices other than computers, phones and tablets can be pwned by hackers. Which is why I try to keep as many of my things from being on the Internet as possible. And that includes my TV.

UPDATE: Clearly bad press does make companies do things they normally wouldn’t do. Here’s proof of that:

And:

Let’s hope things work out for him.

UPDATE #2: He was able to rescue the TV thanks to the assistance of LG:

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One Response to “LG Smart TV Pwned By Android Ransomware….. & LG Refuses To Help”

  1. […] am no fan of smart TVs. I cite these four examples of why you should not ever buy one. And you will not see me with one in my home. Now there’s a fifth reason not to […]

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