Following the recent revelation that your Samsung TV is listening to you whilst you watch it, it seems that these TVs do not encrypt voice recordings that are collected and transmitted to a third party service. David Lodge, a researcher with a U.K.-based security firm called Pen Test Partners, intercepted and analyzed the Internet traffic generated by a Samsung smart TV and found that it sends captured voice data to a remote server using a connection on port 443.
443/tcp normally signifies HTTPS – i.e. HTTP over SSL. But analysis of the captured data showed that it was not encrupted in any way.
"What we see here is not SSL encrypted data," Lodge said in a blog post. "It's not even HTTP data, it's a mix of XML and some custom binary data packet."
Lodge believes that the reason why Samsung chose to use port 443 might simply be because it's typically not blocked by network firewalls.
The responses back to the TV from the third-party server, which include the text interpretation of the spoken words, are also unencrypted.
Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A week ago, the revelation that Samsung collects words spoken by consumers when they use the voice recognition feature in their smart TVs enraged privacy advocates. In response, Samsung clarified that only certain commands, like voice search queries, get sent to a server operated by a third-party, a company called Nuance Communications, for the purpose of being converted into text.