Facepalm: Samsung Loads McAfee Antivirus Bloatware On Smart TVs
Bloatware has unfortunately become a fact of life when it comes to many of the electronic devices that we purchase these days. Chances are if you buy a PC or carrier-locked smartphone, it will come preinstalled with bloatware that -- 99 percent of the time -- you won’t even need or use.
Samsung and McAfee have just announced a partnership that will see the firm's security/antivirus suite preinstalled on the brand new Galaxy S10 family of smartphones. While that move is somewhat expected (but mostly unnecessary) these days for an Android phone that will see its fair share of app downloads, the partnership also extends to Samsung Smart TVs.
Wait, what??That's right, all of Samsung's 2019 family of Smart TVs will have McAfee Security for TV preinstalled from that factory. First of all, why in the world does a Smart TV need McAfee antivirus installed? Second of all, most Smart TVs these days already come preinstalled with most of the streaming services that customers would typically use. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, HBO GO -- these are usually prominently up front when you first take a Smart TV out of the box and turn it on.
McAfee reasoned in a statement:
McAfee extended its contract to have McAfee Security for TV technology pre-installed on all Samsung Smart TVs produced in 2019. Along with being the market leader in the Smart TV category worldwide, Samsung is also the first company to pre-install security on these devices, underscoring its commitment to building security in from the start. McAfee Security for TV scans the apps that run on Samsung smart TVs to identify and remove malware.
Where exactly would your typical Smart TV users be downloading malware from? Samsung Smart TV apps are available from the company's curated app store, so surely, they wouldn't be coming in from that point of entry (hopefully).
And let’s take that a step further; Samsung Smart TVs run the Tizen operating system, Tizen! Who out there is writing malware for Tizen? Tizen is an afterthought in the smartphone world (does Samsung still even make Tizen smartphones?) and probably isn't even on the radar for hackers in the TV space (yet).