Is Your Generic Android TV Box Compromised?

In my latest video I dive into the security concerns surrounding generic Android TV boxes.

These devices, often found on platforms like Amazon, Walmart, and AliExpress, have been reported to contain spyware and malware that can execute in the background without the user’s knowledge. This malware can perform various nefarious activities, including click fraud, where the box clicks on ads generating revenue for the people operating the command and control server.

What’s more concerning is that these boxes have the potential to do just about anything from your IP address as they are located behind your router or firewall. Given that these devices are often connected to our Google accounts, this could mean that someone could potentially access your YouTube account, Gmail account, and any other services attached to Google through the TV box.

To ensure your Android TV device is secure, Google suggests checking if your device is Play Protect certified. This can be done by going into the Google Play Store on your device, navigating to the ‘Play Protect’ section, and checking if your device is certified. However, this process can be a bit tricky on devices running the Google TV OS, as the Google Play Store is not readily accessible.

In my video, I demonstrated how to check for Play Protect certification on the Onn 4k Google TV box, a device running the Google TV OS. Despite not being listed on Google’s list of Android TV partner products, the Onn box was found to be Play Protect certified, suggesting that it is a secure device.

However, given the potential security risks associated with non-certified devices, I recommend sticking to name-brand ones. There are good and affordable name brand options available, such as the Onn box from Walmart along with the Chromecast with Google TV (affiliate links). And for power users the Nvidia Shield TV Pro (affiliate link) is still the top device.

While generic Android TV boxes may be tempting due to their low price, the potential security risks they pose just isn’t worth it. It’s always better to opt for a certified, name-brand device to ensure your privacy and security.