Samsung smart TVs will be harder to hack in 2016 with its new GAIA security solution

flocker malware affecting smart tvs samsung tv hub
Yesterday we announced that all of Samsung’s smart TVs in 2016 will be equipped with the SmartThings Hub, allowing them to act as the … well, hub of your smart home. This holds a lot of promise to be sure, but it also introduces what could be more serious consequences if your smart TV is hacked.

Smart TVs are often written off as lacking in security, but Samsung is looking to change this. Today the company announced that a new security solution it has dubbed GAIA will be included in its entire 2016 lineup of Tizen-based smart TVs.

“Protecting consumers’ personal information is of the utmost importance to Samsung, both in terms of the company’s values and what’s needed for the continued growth and success of the IoT ecosystem,” said Hyun Suk Kim, Samsung’s president of visual display business, said in a statement. “GAIA is a security solution that will give Samsung customers security and peace of mind now and in the future.”

GAIA uses multiple approaches in to enhance security. First, Samsung’s Tizen OS will be divided into two parts – the main space and the security space – with data for each space being secured separately. Transmissions between the TV and IoT (Internet of Things) servers is encrypted, making it both harder to intercept and more difficult to spoof.

Finally, GAIA introduces something called SecureZone. Samsung describes this as “a virtual barrier that creates a secure space and protects the core service operations.” As part of this, a secure keypad/number pad displayed on screen is used to help protect users’ passwords, credit card details, and other personal information.

As smart TVs have developed a reputation for being easy to hack, this is something we’d like to see other TV manufacturers pursuing in the future. Whether or not consumers will trust GAIA after the accusations earlier this year that Samsung was spying on users through its TVs, however, is still up in the air.

Samsung hasn’t specifically announced that it will be showing off GAIA at CES, but it will be showing its coming TV lineup, so we’re expecting to hear more in January.

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