Hackers to Target Smart TV Sets After Phones, Kaspersky Predicts

Hackers are opening new horizons: having learned how to break into Apple Inc.’s iPhones they may target smart televisions next, according to cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab.

“There are already Trojan viruses that can penetrate an iPhone when it’s connected to a computer,” founder and Chief Executive Officer Eugene Kaspersky said in an interview. “Smart TVs would be the next step.”

In the future, hackers will be able to interfere with smart TVs -- the latest generation of TVs that are connected to the Internet -- and require users to send a paid text message to get them unlocked, Kaspersky predicts. Criminals may also seek to steal money from online movie accounts or use the TV’s camera to record what users are doing, he said.

Hackers are boosting attacks on targets ranging from corporate computer networks to individual smartphones for data that could help steal money from user accounts. Those attacks are extending from Microsoft Corp.’s Windows-run computers and Google Inc.’s Android-based smartphones to platforms including Apple’s iOS.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

Kaspersky Lab’s Russian business may slow this year as some companies switch to pirated software, while others may go out of business amid the economic crisis, the CEO said. Russia accounts for about 15 percent of Kaspersky Lab’s sales.

“Europe is the largest market for us, and euro devaluation versus the dollar has eaten up several percentage points of our revenue growth,” Kaspersky said. The company’s programmers are mostly based in Russia, which lowers costs in dollar terms after the ruble plunged last year, the CEO said.

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