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Blog: Android

Snooping Sony Bravia TV

consultant-placeholder10 Ken Munro 20 May 2016

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You’ll no doubt have seen the snooping Samsung TV we investigated last year.

…and the snooping Android mobile app we wrote for the BBC a couple of months back.

Since then we’ve been trying to combine the two attacks and get an Android-based TV to snoop on your audio.

Today we succeeded in getting our rogue android app to work on a Sony Bravia telly.

How-to

First, enable ‘install apps from unknown sources’.

That’s in Android settings, personal, security & restrictions.

Grab ES File Explorer and install from a USB key.

Then install your rogue app.

OR – just put your rogue app in the Play store. Far easier!

The video shows the TV listening to the microphone input, then sending the audio to Google’s voice service (Nuance), converting it to text then delivering to an external laptop.

The laptop could be anywhere with an internet connection. We’ve just put it next to the telly so that we can get it all in one simple video.

You could use a mobile phone or tablet to receive the data instead.

Issues

The TV doesn’t have a microphone built in, so we had to plug in a USB mike.

Ours is a Bravia 55X8005C, no doubt the higher end models come with microphones built in.

It runs quite an old version of Lollipop (5.0.2).

Consequences

Convince your victim to install a rogue app from the Play store or install it on their TV when they’re not looking.

Then everything said in earshot of the TV can be sent to a 3rd party.

I guess the most practical use of this is to snoop on people that you know. What an unpleasant thought!