TechAndroid TV: cheap tv boxes are dangerous. There is one solution

Android TV: cheap tv boxes are dangerous. There is one solution

Android TV
Android TV
Images source: © good programs | Oskar Ziomek

6:19 AM EDT, October 11, 2023

Android TV set-top boxes from unknown manufacturers, which are usually cheaper than branded counterparts, are generally not safe to use. Researchers indicate that some Android TV devices come with malicious software pre-installed.

Techradar reports on the issue, citing research by experts from the Human Security group. The publication mentions smart TV boxes on the market under the names T95, T95Z, T95MAX, X88, Q9, X12PLUS, and MXQ Pro 5G, which come with the Badbox malware installed from the get-go , used to download other harmful software. The same issue was identified in the J5-W tablet.

Interestingly, researchers assume that devices do not necessarily leave factories as infected. It is assumed that malicious software may be installed at some stage of the long supply chain. It is also difficult to accurately estimate the scale of the problem - Human Security mentions at least 74,000 identified Android devices, in which a similar problem was detected, but this includes not only smart TV dongles, but also tablets or smartphones.

The conclusion, however, is one - for safety, when choosing an Android TV box (or, in practice, any Android device), it is worth avoiding hardware from lesser-known manufacturers. A well-known brand is not only a chance for greater safety during production and to avoid device infection, but also more refined security updates that will also appear in the future.

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