In case you were wondering what happened as regards the story I previously blogged here – Smart TV Hit by Android Ransomware – it appears that LG has decided after all to make the reset instructions for the TV public rather than requiring an LG engineer to perform the task for only twice the price of a new set… Note that this was an old model running Android, not a newer model running WebOS.
Catch-up story by David Bisson (following up on his earlier story for Metacompliance) for Graham Cluley’s blog: How to remove ransomware from your LG Smart TV – And the ransomware devs go home empty-handed!
The article quotes The Register’s article here, which details the instructions, but also links to a video on YouTube by Darren Cauthon – who originally flagged the problem – demonstrating the process.
[Also posted at Mac Virus]
Software engineer Darren Cauthon tweeted about how: ‘Family member’s tv is bricked by Android malware. #lg wont disclose factory reset. Avoid these “smart tvs” like the plague.’
To put this into some perspective, this isn’t a recent model: he explains that ‘It was one of the first google tvs.’ (Google TV is no longer supported, and LG smart TVs now run on WebOS, apparently. However, Google is said to be working on another Android-based platform.)
Catalin Cimpanu reports for Bleeping Computer that ‘Cauthon says he tried to reset the TV to factory settings, but the reset procedure available online didn’t work.’ When contacted, it seems that LG suggested that an engineer could reset the TV at a cost of $340. Cimpanu suggests that the malware is probably FLocker (a.k.a. Dogspectus).
Commentary by David Bisson for MetaCompliance here.