This topic gained traction in 2019 when Samsung released a message that Samsung Smart TVs can be susceptible to viruses and should be scanned once every two weeks. Many picked up on this message and widely publicized it. And Samsung has implemented a Smart Security program in the TV menu that the user can run and scan their TV.
But I, for example, have some questions for Samsung. Why did Samsung shift this task to the TV user instead of making this check automatic at the start of the TV? It is easy and practical. But there is good news Smart Security works in real-time, protecting your TV, but I, for example, have seen reports that the program displays messages about blocking malicious processes. Still, in most cases, it was a problem with the correct installation of the application (official and respected) or a technical failure of the TV; I tried to look into this issue, and here are the conclusions I drew.
Are Samsung TVs infected with viruses?
For example, I am not aware of any such confirmed cases. Theoretically, it is possible to infect a Samsung TV with a virus, but in practice, it is unlikely, and there are several important reasons for this.
Why a Samsung TV is unlikely to be infected.
We start with the concept that building a Samsung TV is radically different from a computer or smartphone, and here’s why.
The operating system of the TV is written into the permanent memory of the TV, which is a chip. A program is written into this chip (using a separate chip programming device, a programmer), and then this chip is soldered to the main board of the TV. There are also semi-permanent memory chips in which the TV itself writes non-critical software changes. This is also one of the reasons why you can’t install a new operating system on a TV from previous years; for example, you can’t install a version of Tizen 6 on a TV with Tizen 5. Consequently, the virus cannot make critical changes to the operating system.
The second reason is that Samsung TVs from 2015 use OS Tizen; if someone writes a virus, it should be written for a unique operating system, but it is long and useless for the reasons I mentioned earlier.
Well, to summarize, as usually happens when a device is infected with a virus, the virus must be installed with the program or downloaded from the Internet. In Samsung TVs, applications are installed from the official store, everyone who develops applications and puts them out for download is well known to Samsung. By downloading a virus via the Internet, again there are problems with the unique operating system and the difficulty of running a virus to change the TV software.
How Smart Security works in Samsung TVs
Smart Security is an antivirus program that can scan files and check their integrity by checksums, and it also checks online for changes in files and applications on your TV. And it checks for unauthorized changes; if an application makes changes, it’s normal, and if the application is not active but there are changes to files, it’s an anomaly; such processes are blocked. And the TV screen displays a message from Smart Security about blocking the process, and the program can also offer you to send a suspicious file to Samsung servers for analysis.
A message on my TV screen said that the malicious process had been blocked.
If you get this message, it could mean the following. Smart Security has detected a change in the checksum of a file, which to the program means that the file has been modified, the checksum when reading does not match the checksum when writing the file, an unclear malicious process, Smart Security blocks the operation of such a file. But this does not often mean that your TV is infected with a virus, and now I will tell you what situations can occur and how to deal with them.
I keep getting a malicious process-blocking message on my TV.
Here’s the situation; let’s review; this message started showing up on your TV, and you reacted by pressing the always button, but the message kept showing up.
I will briefly tell you why this might be happening. The TV has memory chips that store information, but sometimes they don’t work correctly, and some information is lost; if that information is related to some application, you will be shown that message when you start a specific application. Or, some of the memory allocated to the Internet service programs is not working. In this case, the message does not appear when there is no Internet access, but as soon as you set up the Internet, this message will appear again.
How to remove the message about blocking a malicious process
The easiest and most radical way is to reset your TV to factory settings. In this case, all app settings will be reset to factory settings, and the apps you installed yourself will be removed. Your TV will be like out of the box. Set up your TV again. If the message continues to appear after the reset, the TV needs to be repaired, and the main board replaced.
The second method is gentler; you can apply it if the message appears when you run a specific app, uninstall it and install it again, and check how the TV works. You can not uninstall apps that are pre-installed from the factory; it is YouTube or the browser; if the message still appears, the TV must be repaired.
You can update the operating system to the latest version. If the problem is with the operating system’s temporary files, that can help, too.
But, as a rule, the TV needs to be repaired if the message keeps showing up. And the repair itself will consist of replacing the main board. The board costs about $100-150 plus the work of a specialist.