LG Smart TV Owners Infected With Nasty Ransomware Following App Download

Be careful before downloading an app on your LG Smart TV. One user recently reported that their LG Smart TV had been infected by Cyber.Police ransomware, also known as FLocker, Frantic Locker, or Dogspectus. The infected television is one of the last LG Smart TV’s to use Google TV, a project that was discontinued in 2014.

Software engineer Darren Cauthon revealed that his television was infected by the ransomware after his relatives had downloaded an app to watch a movie on December 25th. According to Cauthon, “They [the relatives] said they downloaded an app to watch a movie. Halfway thru movie, tv froze.” It is unclear whether Cauthon’s relatives downloaded the app from the Play Store or a third-party. Twitter users were quick to accuse Cauthon’s family of piracy.

infected lg tv

Cauthon attempted to reset his television, however, the instructions he got online did not work. Cauthon called LG and was informed that he would need to take the television to one of their service centers. The reset would cost roughly $340, while the ransomware demanded $500 USD. One Twitter user pointed out that it would likely be cheaper to purchase a new television.

Regardless of whether Cauthon’s family brought this trouble upon themselves, ransomware can prove to be a tricky issue on smart televisions. In November 2015, Symantec researchers conducted their own test and concluded that even experts had a difficult time removing malware. Trend Micro repeated a similar test three months later and arrived at the same conclusion. 

This past June, one particular strain of ransomware locked smart televisions and then demanded iTunes gift cards. Apparently the hacker really wanted to get their hands on the latest Paul Simon album.
Tags:  LG, google tv, Ransomware