Hacker Taking Control of Cable Box, Sending Threats

Posted: June 8, 2014 in Tech

INDIANAPOLIS — A family claims they are being terrorized by their cable box. For more than a week, personal and harassing messages are showing up on their TVs.

Alana Meeks has no idea who’s behind it.

“This stuff is uncanny. I haven’t heard anything like this in my life,” she said. “He says he’s a stalker.”

FOX59 cameras were rolling when it happened again. Whoever was typing knew we were there, too.

“It’s astonishing. It’s spooky because there aren’t a lot of ways you can get into someone’s cable box,” said Fred Cate, research director for the Indiana University Center for Applied Cybersecurity. “The most common ways would be using a remote control, an infrared device, but that’s line of sight. You usually have to be in the room or within a close distance and clear vision to the box you’re changing the channel on or doing the typing on.”

It hardly gets more Orwellian than this. Technology allows cable companies to peer directly into television watchers’ homes and monitor viewing habits and reactions to product advertisements.

The technology comes via the cable box, and at least one lawmaker on Capitol Hill is standing in opposition.

Mass. Democratic Rep. Michael Capuano introduced a bill last year, the We Are Watching You Act, to prohibit the technology on boxes and collection of information absent consumer permission. The bill would also require companies that do use the data to show “we are watching you” messages on the screen and to explain just what kinds of information is being captured and for what reasons, AdWeek reported. This bill is currently sitting in limbo.

Speculation has been rampant on the Internet regarding hidden camera’s and microphones in newer HD televisions as well. Apple has just such a patent where they combine the display screen with camera sensors.

In March of 2012, at a meeting for the CIA’s venture capital firm In-Q-Tel, CIA Director David Petraeus reportedly noted that “smart appliances” connected to the Internet could someday be used by the CIA to track individuals.

“The current ‘Internet of PCs’ will move, of course, toward an ‘Internet of Things’—of devices of all types—50 to 100 billion of which will be connected to the Internet by 2020,” Petraeus said in his speech. He continued:

Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters—all connected to the next-generation Internet using abundant, low cost, and high-power computing—the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing.

It appears that the CIA already has this capability as witnessed with the Snowden revelations. Even local police are aware of this technology being manufactured into modern HDTV’s as a caller into the Alex Jones Show reveals below:

Direct Audio Link

FOX 59
Wired – Danger Room
Mail Online UK
Alex Jones Show – 20MAR2014


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