Check Point spells out hacking vulnerability of TV and movie subtitle files

Samsung sets smartphone sights on the stars

If you’ve managed to pick up Samsung’s latest halo phone, the Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus, we hope you’re enjoying it – but as we’re sure you’re aware, the pace of tech turnover is relentless, so you better believe Samsung is hard at work its successor, the Galaxy S9. According to South Korean website thebell, Samsung has already given the S9 – or whatever it’ll be called – the codename “Star,” and “Star 2” for the larger Plus model.

The Bell reports that despite the appearance of prototypes and concept models, the Star S9 will not be a foldable phone. And this early in the process, no performance or specifications have actually been specified, although The Bell claims the phone will have a dual-lens camera and a sub-screen fingerprint reader, two features that have also cropped up in leaks for the upcoming Galaxy Note 8. Hit this link for more information on Samsung’s stars.

Fun all around

Shooting your adventures in 360 is the current hot trend in photography, and companies are beginning to turn out 360-photo gear left and right. One company new to the game is GPS and avionics maker Garmin, and we just put their new Virb 4K 360 camera through its paces. It’s a pretty trick rig: the Virb features image stabilization, a fleet of sensors, data overlays, four microphones, and a top-mounted screen for setting up and reviewing your pix and video.

But one feature we thought really stood out was the ability to control the Virb using voice commands, including starting and stopping recordings. Check out Hillary Grigonis’s complete review of the Garmin Virb 360 right here.

Just learn French already

This has to be the weirdest hacking attack idea we’ve seen in a while: according to online security firm Check Point, hackers can take control of your PC, phone or streaming box through subtitles.

No joke: Check Point says that hackers could insert malicious code into the text files that facilitate the onscreen translations of your favorite foreign film, and they’ve highlighted four apps they say are especially vulnerable: PopcornTime, Kodi, VLC and Stremio.

At this time, Check Point says they are not aware of anyone now using the idea; CheckPoint actually pulled off the hack as a proof of concept exercise. Fortunately, they’ve also posted links and instructions to solve the issues in those apps, but at this point, some of the fixes include some advanced computer skills. However, you can bet those app makers are scrambling to update their code to prevent a subtitle hack attack, so make sure your app gets updated.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.