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Family claims hacker taking control of cable box, sending threats

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posted on Mar, 28 2014 @ 11:05 AM
I dunno what forum this belongs in.
And NOT the skunk works! LOL

This is a real thing, is it a conspiracy? Paranormal? NSA? Hackers?

Thought I'd pass it along to you guys.

Have at it.


( (March 26, 2014) — A family claims they are being terrorized by their cable box. For more than a week, personal and harassing messages are showing up on their TVs.

News story/video at that link ^^

posted on Mar, 28 2014 @ 11:14 AM
reply to post by Black_Fox

I wonder if they have checked the roofspace? Could be someone hiding there with a remote and typing.

posted on Mar, 28 2014 @ 11:15 AM
reply to post by Black_Fox

Sounds like a horror movie.

posted on Mar, 28 2014 @ 11:23 AM

Whoever did this has had to have had physical access to the apartment (or the area outside the apartment window) at some time or another,” said Cate. “That access could have been as little as sticking an LED-like bulb through a ceiling or wall or in a light fixture. The LED-like bulb must have a power source; it has to be plugged in or have a connected battery pack somewhere nearby
this part is especially funny. theyre over analyzing it and its probably just some neighbor kid with a universal remote

posted on Mar, 28 2014 @ 11:26 AM
Back in the late 90's I was sure that cable company's were forced to install audio and video transmitters in every cablebox due to national security? Then the conversion to digital to lock/close the loop, no "free" signals left to be had...seems to be the goal?

2-way diode


An opto-isolator contains a source (emitter) of light, almost always a near infrared light-emitting diode (LED), that converts electrical input signal into light, a closed optical channel (also called dielectrical channel[7]), and a photosensor, which detects incoming light and either generates electric energy directly, or modulates electric current flowing from an external power supply.opto-isolator can transfer the light signal not transfer the electrical signal . The sensor can be a photoresistor, a photodiode, a phototransistor, a silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) or a triac. ]Because LEDs can sense light in addition to emitting it, construction of symmetrical, bidirectional opto-isolators is possible. An optocoupled solid state relay contains a photodiode opto-isolator which drives a power switch, usually a complementary pair of MOSFETs. A slotted optical switch contains a source of light and a sensor, but its optical channel is open, allowing modulation of light by external objects obstructing the path of light or reflecting light into the sensor.

Now with "smart tvs" going wireless? User friendly, or hacker friendly?
edit on (3/28/1414 by loveguy because: (no reason given)

edit on (3/28/1414 by loveguy because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 28 2014 @ 11:29 AM
reply to post by Black_Fox

Creepy, especially as it happened with the police and a news crew there to witness it. Sounds like an isolated case. I'd freak if messages started coming across my TV to me, and would probably question my sanity for a bit.

posted on Mar, 28 2014 @ 11:46 AM
They could use an infrared camera to find the repeater led if that was indeed what was allowing this to happen.
The real question would be, is there a way to back trace it if found?

posted on Mar, 28 2014 @ 03:21 PM
There was a real tale of someone (in Canada maybe) whose whole house and systems were being infiltrated. They had private and government investigators looking into the invasion and control of all of their household appliances, electronics etc.

They couldnt find any wiring or radio access in...whatever...and it drove them crazy. (You can most likely search the story on GOOGLE) I know its possible!

Heres a link....
Odd News - Yahoo News‎Cached

Family terrorized by harassing messages received from…their cable box ... As
WXIN Fox 59 reports, an unknown hacker is somehow taking control of ... Woman
shocked to find out her Facebook pictures being used in prostitution ads ... Family
calls 911 when intruder tries to enter home, waits hours before police show up.

edit on 09-22-2013 by mysterioustranger because: url

posted on Mar, 28 2014 @ 06:38 PM
reply to post by Black_Fox

one abbreviation and one word.

MAC Spoofing.

posted on Mar, 28 2014 @ 07:00 PM
That's pretty creepy. I can only read the article, but it won't let me play the video?? I wanted to see it happen while the news crew was there

posted on Mar, 28 2014 @ 07:20 PM
I had to use Chrome to get the video to play, it won't on my system under FF or Safari. I don't think it's the influence of evil, just a screwed up webpage.

This is a Uverse set up that she has. There are a number of things about Uverse that make this fairly easy to do, especially if she's in an ADSL area with a NVG510 modem. However, if you've ever seen an AT&T Uverse setup, you'll realize that they use simple numeric passcodes for the wi-fi. At least on my Uverse at home, the "cable boxes" are wi-fi receivers and stream video from the cable modem/router to the wireless TV box. In order to do something like this, you just need to see that typical AT&T SSID, then use one of a number of WPA breakers or a rainbow table to break the passcode. I've seen a graphics card program that'll extract you an AT&T password in minutes, although I doubt it's commonly available.

Once you've got the wi-fi password, you can "hook into" the screen feeds to the victim's TV sets, and watch the screen contents from next door.

The Uverse system uses RF remote controls that will work from several houses away. So the "hacker" is probably the kid next door with something like Airsnort with an AT&T breaker and a spare Uverse RF remote.

eta: she could banish the demonic infestation by changing her ssid, selecting not to broadcast it, and changing the password from the simple numeric one that AT&T assigns you by default. Probably would need to change the remote bindings to a new set of remotes as well, then the kid would have to go fish.
edit on 28-3-2014 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 28 2014 @ 07:47 PM
reply to post by Bedlam

Gotcha....that's the problem, I'm on safari....TY....gonna go try it now!

I'm in agreement with you....a neighbor kid with too much time on his hands....
edit on 3/28/14 by j.r.c.b. because: Had to read full post....

posted on Mar, 28 2014 @ 10:40 PM
reply to post by Bedlam

very similar to what i was gonna say.

i used to be in the industry....never worked with IPTV, or wireless STB's, but i know how they work. i've also been working on(building/repairing/using) computers for something like 20 years now, so when your "cable box" is basically a special purpose computer, attached to the internet, it's not hard to figure out how the "hacker" is doing what he's doing, and it's not a guy with line of sight, and a remote, like the station's "expert" theorized......that's just B.S. to minimize, and distract from how lousy Ustream's security is, and how vulnerable their hardware is...

posted on Mar, 28 2014 @ 10:57 PM
reply to post by Black_Fox

Unsecured Wifi my friend had a similar problem people dont realize when you run your cable directly into wifi router it needs to be secured. My buddy didnt because he only accessed the internet through his tv it never occured to him a computer could access his router. I took my laptop over there and showed him what was happening and than we locked it down. Uverse is particularly dangerous because the computer illiterate dont realize there cable is being broadcast via wifi to the television sets.

posted on Mar, 28 2014 @ 11:07 PM
There is a new thing with Xfinity (Comcast) that puts caller ID on the TV screen when someone calls. I also have their phones and inet. But, the ability is there and I can even remotely access my DVR and schedule recordings from work, etc. There is a message service on it for Comcast to use, and I wouldn't think it too hard for a hacker, especially one that worked for Comcast to access the network and do this. Back a long time ago, we had access to the nodes in any neighborhood to access individual cable modems. It is not a great leap for someone to do this. I am sure the cable company is aware of it and trying to catch then because this could be bad news for the millions or billions spent on their new entertainment network.

edit on 28/3/14 by spirit_horse because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 29 2014 @ 05:21 AM
reply to post by spirit_horse

lol, comcast is JUST NOW getting those features? cablevision has had the on-screen caller ID for years...

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