Transforming any television set into a SmartTV has become much easier since the arrival of TV Box and sticks in Brazil. However, the need to always be aware of the latest films and series can leave users of this equipment in the sights of cybercriminals.
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ESET, a company specializing in proactive threat detection, discovered malware that targets this type of device, a virus spread mainly through streaming applications on websites. According to the company, more than 2,000 attacks have already been recorded.
“The distribution of this botnet occurred mainly through streaming applications on sites such as Tele Latino, You Cine and Magis TV, among others. These apps are available not only for Android TV Boxes, but also for many other devices, including TV Sticks like those from Amazon or Xiaomi”, explains Camilo Gutiérrez Amaya, head of the ESET Research Laboratory in Latin America.
What happens after the TV Box is infected?
The expert explains that the cybercriminal can take control of the infected device to carry out distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. It’s as if the TV Box became a “zombie” at the hacker’s service.
“(…) In other words, using each of the thousands of zombies that they manage to infect to send requests directed to the same destination and thus disable the servers of their objective”, adds Amaya.
According to an ESET report, hackers focus on Latin America, with the main targets being Brazil (20%), Mexico (13%) and Peru (11%). Many pages containing the malware are in Spanish, which directs the attack.
How to protect yourself from the virus
To avoid falling victim to an attack like this, the recommendation is to always research the application you intend to install, preferably checking the comments for warnings from other users. It is also interesting to use robust and unique passwords for each service, in addition to keeping systems updated.
Experts also warn that rooting devices can give cybercriminals an advantage, so unlocking should be avoided. Furthermore, the user must install a reliable security solution to detect and eliminate threats, as well as be careful when updating firmware.
*With information from the Terra portal.