Police warning over data-stealing set-top boxes - The Stratford Observer
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16th Aug, 2022

Police warning over data-stealing set-top boxes

Andy Morris 26th May, 2017

DODGY set-top boxes for TVs could steal personal data, police have warned.

Officers said there was a new trend for criminals to infect the boxes with malware intended to steal users’ details.

They can also have features the buyer may be unaware of, such as access to copyright-infringing material and illegal sites.

A Warwickshire Police spokesman said: “The set-top boxes may contain infected malware that is disguised as something as innocent as a play button and is unknowingly initiated by the user, potentially impacting other electronic devices.

“The users will normally have used some personal details when setting up the set-top box, which could be used to defraud them.

“Consequently, what may appear to be a bargain may quickly turn into a genuine problem through loss of personal data and or money.”

Police issued the following advice:

• Only buy set-top/streaming boxes from recognised outlets

• Contact your bank if you notice any suspicious transactions on your accounts

• When signing up to websites/internet services, use a password or PIN you have not used elsewhere

• Enable two-factor authentication on your important accounts (email/banking/social media).

Call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 if you suspect you have been a victim of fraud.

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