Tech Talk: Protection against cyber attacks

Ayatollah BBC and Wibbitz

By
March 11, 2018 09:52
3 minute read.
A man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him

A man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him. (photo credit: KACPER PEMPEL/REUTERS)

Information security company ESET has released its new ESET Smart TV Security product, an advanced technological protection solution to protect against targeted cyber attacks on connected TVs and devices with the Android TV operating system.

Industry experts estimate that by 2020 there will be 30 billion Internet-connected devices (IoT) in the world. While these gadgets bring us many benefits, they also pose a threat to consumers’ everyday lives - especially smart TVs equipped with microphones, cameras and USB connections, which are increasingly becoming a prime target for malware attacks. By gaining control over smart television, cybercriminals can attack not only other devices connected to the user’s home network, but also spy on people and collect sensitive personal data about them.

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“Given the privacy and security risks, consumers must take steps to protect their smart TVs in the same way they protect their laptops, tablets and smartphones. They cannot treat these devices as a regular TV, a kettle or a clock,” explains Branislav Orlik, Mobile Security Product Manager.

According to one forecast, by the end of 2018 there will be more than 750 million smart TVs in the world. Smart TVs with an Android TV operating system will no doubt unfortunately make it much easier for ransomware to infiltrate people’s systems, which until recently has been limited to smartphones and tablets. The threat now goes to Android smart TVs, and there have been cases in which television screens were locked until ransoms were paid.

Ayatollah BBC
Israeli ClearSky Cyber Security has revealed an array of Iranian websites aimed at impersonating legitimate international news sites and helping to track their reporters in Iran.

Last month, CyberSky revealed that a series of fake Iranian news websites were built to resemble Western media outlets, such as BBC Persian and RFE/RL’s Persian language service, Radio Farda. Apparently, Alireza Arabshahi is the name to which about 50 websites either imitating or disparaging Western media outlets are registered. In addition, according to the report, a network was created seven years ago by Kazem Bahadori, who has ties with Hezbollah and the Iranian paramilitary militia Basij.

Fictitious news sites were identified as posing as Iranian news sites, with the aim of spreading slander against the foreign media channels. The study reveals sites where reports are published that insult Iranian journalists who write in the foreign media to deter them and ultimately cause them to stop reporting or reporting information in favor of the regime.

“We estimate that the main objective of the operation is to undermine the credibility of Western media outlets in the eyes of Persian speakers, presenting them as driven by a political agenda and acting against the Iranian regime,” ClearSky’s report reads.”

Boaz Dolev, CEO of ClearSky, said, “We’ve exposed that these fake websites have been operating for some time now. This campaign exposes not only the ability of the Iranians to manage a campaign of consciousness, but also the manner in which the Iranian regime chooses to deter potential opponents of the regime, or even ordinary citizens who seek to obtain reliable news sources by sowing fear and gathering information about them. Iranian Internet users who read articles on these sites usually figure out after a relatively short period of time that they are fake websites that are managed by regime officials, and in this way this is becoming public knowledge.”

Wibbitz
The Israeli start-up Wibbitz, which was founded in 2011 by CEO Zohar Dayan and COO Yotam Cohen, is expanding its activity into international sports coverage and has signed agreements with a number of sports websites run by the NFL, USA TODAY, and MinuteMedia.

Wibbitz is developing artificial intelligence technologies that will provide an even smoother and smarter video creation experience, in real time and without the need for human touch. The company enables sports content producers to use technology to survey sports games by producing realtime videos.

According to Cohen, “The sports industry is currently experiencing extremely busy times. In order to preserve and increase audience size, it is necessary to create quality content for social networks in real time. Even if users watch the events on real-time television, 45% of the viewers use their mobile phones as a second screen during games.”

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Translated by Hannah Hochner.


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