At a time when millions of Smart TVs are bursting with zero-day vulnerabilities and a long list of security flaws, the last thing anyone wants is a firmware update gone wrong.
This is exactly what happened after an update patch released by Samsung UK for Smart TVs rendered them unusable.
A firmware update released by Samsung UK for the company’s Smart TVs earlier this month landed the company in a soup after it turned out that that patch had rendered hundreds of TVs unusable.
Many Samsung Smart TV users have taken to the web to complain about their ‘useless’ Smart TV sets that basically stopped working after they were updated with the latest patch. What makes it worse for them is that Samsung UK’s customer service teams haven’t been able to come up with a solution so far.
A number of issues that surfaced following the latest firmware update include unresponsive TVs, TVs stuck on single channels, TVs not responding to remote controls and stuck volume levels.
“My Samsung model UE50MU6100K won’t turn on anymore after the software update that came yesterday. I’ve spoken to the call centre and they said it’s been escalated but I want to know what has actually happened? Can this even be fixed by another software update like I keep being told?”, wrote an aggrieved user on Samsung UK’s customer support forum.
“My UE49MU7070TXXU updated to days ago and since then it is stuck on one tv channel and will not respond to remote controls ( I have 3 ) or Smartphone controls. Is this an issue with the update or something else ? and how long am I expected to wait ? Tempted to take the item back to the store if not resolved soon,” chipped in another.
Samsung Smart TVs have been at the receiving end of criticisms voiced by many cyber security experts who believe such devices contain a number of unresolved security issues.
Israeli researcher Amihai Neiderman recently uncovered as many as 40 zero-day vulnerabilities on Tizen, the operating system that Samsung use on their smart televisions and smartwatches. He noted that TizenStore contains a critical design flaw that would allow potential hackers to hijack the software and inject malicious code onto TVs.
‘Everything you can do wrong there, they do it. You can see that nobody with any understanding of security looked at this code or wrote it. It’s like taking an undergraduate and letting him program your software,’ he told Motherboard, adding that TizenStore had no SSL encryption and contained generic errors in its codes that could have been resolved if the right checks and balances were in place.
There are indications that Samsung may release an update soon which will restore Smart TVs that have been damaged by the latest firmware update. However, Smart TV owners will have to bring in their TVs for repair.
“We’ve had it confirmed that the solution that our TV guys have been testing works. It would need to be installed by an approved Samsung engineer, so please contact our TV Support teams so they can arrange a suitable appointment for you,” said a moderator on Samsung UK’s customer support forum.