The smart TV market is growing at a rapid pace. And apparently, people of all age groups prefer to have one in their homes. In a survey conducted by Statista in 2022, the people of the US were asked whether they have a smart TV in their homes or not. 46% of the people aged 18-34 years said yes, while 49% of the people aged above 35 said they have connected or smart TVs in their homes.
As a result, the number of smart TV apps is also increasing day by day. Android TV has already crossed the benchmark of 10,000 apps, while other OS like Samsung Tizen and LG WebOS is also not far behind. As the number of apps keeps increasing, smart TV app security concerns also keep growing exponentially.
Issues like DoS and DDoS attacks, hacking attempts, content stealing and manipulations, and identity theft are some of the major security issues in smart TV apps. These issues can be effectively addressed by certain features like DRM, SSO, Biometric Authentication, and more. In this blog, we will tell you everything you need to know about smart TV app security in detail. So, let’s get started!
Major Security Threats For Smart TV Apps
Like any other digital ecosystem, smart TV apps are also at risk of multilateral cyber attacks. Some of the major cyber threats on smart TV apps are listed below.
1. Multiple Users Under Single Subscription
Sometimes, your users might share their login ID and password with their friends without permission. In this way, people who usually are not allowed to get access to your content can also view the content. Some of them might even record them and keep them for future viewing.
2. Account Hacking
Many hackers who fail to get access to your database then attempt to hack the individual accounts of your users using password guessing and stealing techniques. Most often, they do so for piracy attempts on some of your top and exclusive content.
3. User Information Stealing/Identity Theft
When hackers succeed in breaking into your database, they steal the sensitive and personal information of your users like their name, date of birth, credit card details, email IDs, and more! They then use this information for monetary benefits.
4. Content Stealing and Piracy
Content stealing attempts can be done either by hacking one of your user accounts, or hacking into your database. Also, some pirates attempt to steal your content en route while it is being transmitted from the server to the end user’s device.
5. Content Manipulation
After gaining access to your database, many hackers leave malicious messages or upload malicious videos to your platform.
6. Denial of Service and Distributed Denial of Service Attacks
In Denial of Service attacks, the attackers send unnecessary data packets to the servers, so that the servers become overloaded and ultimately crash. Hence, when a genuine user requests to play any video, they won’t be able to receive the data from the server.
How Muvi One Solves These Challenges
Muvi One incorporated multiple security measures to ensure that all the smart TV apps and streaming platforms developed using our solution remain insulated from cyber attacks. Some of those measures are mentioned below.
1. Biometric Authentication
Implementing biometric authentication on smart TV apps is difficult, true. But we can definitely implement it on our smartphone apps and then ask our smart TV users to log in through their phones, via QR code scanning!
Biometrics like face scans and fingerprint scans can help us identify our users accurately. It helps reduce the chances of multiple user logins and user account hacking issues.
2. Single Sign On
Single Sign On helps decrease password fatigue. When the users need to keep separate passwords for separate apps, like mobile and TV apps, they usually either keep the same password, an easy-to-remember password or tend to forget the passwords often.
To avoid such situations, SSO is used. Single Sign On allows users to keep the same password for multiple devices and apps. It helps you as an admin to track the login activities of the users more efficiently, aligning with reducing the risk of attacks.
3. Built-in Studio Approved Multi-DRM
Now coming to the most trivial point. How to protect your content from being hacked while in transmission? You should use multi-DRM.
DRM or Digital Rights Management is a system of encrypting your content with a specific set of keys. Hence, the content cannot be decrypted until and unless the server verifies the user’s device and provides the keys.
Any hacker attempting to steal your content in transitions fails to decrypt it. Also, any unauthorized user cannot access your content. When it comes to protection against content stealing and piracy, DRM goes a long way!
4. Static and Dynamic Watermarking
What if pirates log in as genuine users and record your content? Static and Dynamic watermarking is here to make their task difficult!
All of us know about static watermarking, It is a watermark that remains fixed in a particular location throughout the content. But, because it is on the same spot on every screen, it is very easy for the pirates to erase it.
In the case of dynamic watermarking, the watermarks change their positions on every screen. Hence, it is a bit difficult to erase, as the pirates need to blur it screen-by-screen.
5. Geo-Blocking and VPN Detection
If you suspect a lot of spamming and malicious activities from a particular geographical
location, you can apply geo-blocking to remove access from that region.
Now, what if the hacker uses a VPN? But Muvi uses GeoIP intelligence, so we can easily restrict any 3rd party app from accessing any data or content.
6. Simultaneous Streaming Devices Restrictions
The admins must put restrictions on the number of streaming devices used to restrict a single account at a single time. Otherwise, people might misuse the liberty to do unauthorized logins.
In 80% of the cases, genuine users use a maximum of three devices at a time: one smartphone, one laptop, and a smart TV.
If we even take one more device just to be on the safe side, the number of devices used to log in on the same account at the same time must be restricted to four.
7. Signed URL for Secure and Time-limited Access
Muvi One allows you to generate signed URLs. Now these signed URLs are valid for a specific duration of time. When you share these URLs with your users, and they click on them, the CDN server checks the validity of the URL first. The URL has not exceeded its time limit, and the token is found valid, only then the user can access the content.
8. DoS and DDoS Protection
Do you know that using a multi-CDN cloud server network can help you reduce DoS and DDoS attacks to a bare minimum?
During a DoS and DDoS attack, the attackers send thousands of unnecessary tokens and data packets to the server. In the case of a single server, there are more chances of crashing, as it fails to handle the usually high traffic.
But when you use a CDN, if one of the CDN servers crashes due to high traffic, the other CDN server will respond. So, the attempt for DoS and DDoS attacks would never succeed.
Also, at Muvi One, we continuously keep tracking unusual traffic flows, hence we can detect and prevent the DoS and DDoS attacks early.
Build A Smart TV App With Muvi One
Using Muvi One, you can develop your own smart TV app in a very short time, without writing a single line of code. You will get 10+ security features (including those mentioned above) out of the box.
To build your smart TV app, you will need to follow the steps given below:
Step 1 – Sign Up With Muvi One
Click on the “Free Trial” button on the top of our website and enter the sign-up form that looks like this.
Fill out the sign-up form and submit it to complete the registration process.
Step 2 – Login To CMS
As soon as your account gets created, your 14-day free trial will start. So, log in to your CMS dashboard to start creating your app.
Step 3 – Add Content
First, you must have some content in your content library. So, go to the content library, and click on “Add Content”. The following form will appear.
Fill out the form and upload the media to add content.
Step 4 – Set Up Monetization
You will now have to set up monetization for your content. So go to the Monetization menu, and enable the pricing models that you want to implement. There are many options like subscription, pay-per-view, AVOD, vouchers, etc.
Step 5 – App Dashboard
Now go to the “App Dashboard” under the Apps section. All the smart TV and smartphone apps will be visible under the single dashboard. So, you need to try and buy the apps that you want to create.
In the case of the Android TV app, there is a special feature called “Try App”. On submitting the “Try App” form, you will get your app SDKs in just 5 minutes.
Step 6 – Submit The App Form
Whether you click on Try App or Buy App, you will always get an app publishing form. For example, the app publishing form for the Roku Channel looks like this.
You will have to fill up the entire form carefully and submit it.
As soon as we receive your application form, we will start developing your app! You should receive the file for testing within a few hours!
Security is a major concern for the entire streaming ecosystem, and smart TV apps are devoid of the same. Features like SSO, DRM, CDN, Geo-blocking, two-step verification, and biometric identification help enhance smart TV app security and reduce the chances of cyber threats.
However, developing all these features from scratch might be difficult and time-consuming. That is why, Muvi One is the right choice for you! We offer all these features out of the box. Along with these, you also get 100+ industry-leading features like multiple monetization models and payment gateways, ABR and DVR-enabled streaming, a recommendation engine, and many more! So why wait? Sign up to start your 14-day free trial today!
Why is Smart TV app security important for streaming?
Smart TV apps are often used for video content streaming, but in recent years, many attacks have been attempted on these apps. The pirates try to steal content from these apps. The hackers try to steal sensitive user data from these apps. So, it is extremely important to ensure the security of these apps.
Can hackers access my Smart TV through streaming apps?
Yes, they can. If they can get access to your smart TV apps, they will first exploit the content available on this app and then will try to figure out the login details for your smart TV admin account (like the Google account you used to log in to your Android TV). If they get access to that account, they can definitely control your entire smart TV, and many more things as well!
What types of security features does Muvi One offer?
Muvi One offers:
Single Sign On
DoS and DDoS protection
And many more…
Written by: Debarpita Banerjee
Debarpita is a Content Writer with Muvi. With around 2 years of experience in content creation, she has worked across industries like SaaS, EdTech, eLearning, AR-VR, and Metaverse. She believes in delivering content that can be of some value to the readers. In her free time, she likes to try her hand at website and app development.