Cheap tv-devices

I saw Linustechtips yesterday, concerning these boxes filled with malware.
Hope ppl think twice before connect that stuf to your home net…

Install Kaspersky Internet Security on Android.

If you watched the tube, i doubt that kaspersky can save the day, because its written in the firmware…
It connects to skimmy sites and calls often home.
This was just a heads up, the more ppl know, the better…

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What’s the point of citing a video where a complete layman gives his “opinion” about a product and spits on it even though he has no idea about the basics.
All such Android boxes, even the one mentioned, have TWO renderer layers, one for graphics (UI) which is limited to 1080 on Android, and the other layer for video which displays full resolution in 4K (2160). Listening to advices of such a person is a complete waste of time, rather have a beer


So, you say, the danger isnt real and ltt talks bullst?
He also mentions, backdoors, thats scary stuf in this day and age, your whole life is digital… Yes i use 2fa where i can.
Listen, i use N2, so its not for me, just for the ppl who have it…

Wouldn’t know about that, because I stopped listening after those wrong initial statements about resolutions, and had a bear :wink:

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Im more of a Gin & Tonic kind a guy… :cocktail:

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Cheap stuff probably dodgy shocker. There i wrote a headline for you.

I’ve always disliked LTT, because of his fake know-it-all attitude. He never knows what he’s talking about. He has staff that writes up a script, and he reads a teleprompter.

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Linus produced a partially sloppy piece overall and for somebody that has so much experience, not realising that the 720p maximum output that he talked of, how could he not know that this was simply the resolution of the GUI and not the outputted content. Many of these boxes are easily capable of 4k out of the box.

Any product coming from China is ultimately subject to state control but the world still buys products with globally branded names manufactured in China by the billion. It would be no surprise at all to see data collection and even spying software from time to time.

Microsoft also has many distributed and often unknown IP addresses sending your data from Windows to unknown sources (the NSA allegedly being one of them), so you really don’t know for sure who is getting data and how it is being used or sold, in and outside of China.

And as for the ‘morally ambiguous’ statement at the beginning, this was laughable on it’s face as copyright laws are not subject to moral infringement.

Have we seen fake RAM, yes (and fake storage/ other components).

Are these boxes capable of accessing copyright material, Yes (so is any browser on any platform).

It was worth bringing up the malware that was found that could have potentially damaging consequences and this is squarely where the piece should have stayed.

What he didn’t address at all was if and how it is/might be possible to rid a box of such malware (does is get picked up by any anti-virus software for example).

Linus does know his stuff, which is what makes this particular piece sloppy and does little to advance his reputation at all for those that will follow him closely and be somewhat in the know themselves)

However, it is possible that because China will also watch him, if they suddenly see a drop in sales of these boxes, they might just change tack and clean up, even if only temporarily (I won’t hold my breath though).

A drop in sales could also drive down a price or two, so a potential silver lining in the cloud for some.

All in all I tend to see Linus and his mates as people that have one interest, self, and to paraphrase Rupert Murdoch recently, it is not abut the red, white or blue but the green.

Useful and amusing at times but a Guru he is not.


I didn’t quite understand his passage on viruses.

Does it say all android boxes have viruses? That many android boxes have viruses? or only one model has viruses?

It says that all android boxes send our data and information to dubious servers in China all the time, right?

For the rest I have the impression that all his video is false.

What did you learn from his video?

is there a new and interesting fact?

This video is based on Jan’23 news from a security analyst:

The problem with all these cheap boxes is that these boxes come with dubious Android ROMs (no sources / images/ recovery images), so requires blind trust. And besides malware, we have also seen several scams with fake Ram/EMMC, which were reported by (modified) Android with wrong size.

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So the virus would have been discovered only on a model of tv box (T95) and only on the one he bought? Not even on all T95s… Only his

In the Linus TechTips video, he clearly says never buy an Android box. And he says that untruths…

It´s Your choice.
Nobody forces You to buy any cheap box, there are enough alternatives like Odroid C4/N2 etc.

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I’m mainly trying to find out if it’s true.

In his video, he says that half of the Android boxes he bought contain a virus.

But it doesn’t give any more info. It’s strange. Especially since he is not able to do the right ADB commands.

However, on all the TV box forums I go to, everyone agrees that Linus is incompetent on TV boxes and that he talks nonsense in his video.

So I try to understand and disentangle the true and the false.

May be the wrong forum to find the truth

The truth is out there :slight_smile:

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If you are really concerned about this, then under no circumstances should you read this or you’ll never peacefully sleep again.

If you don’t like LTT perhaps reading the EFF will make users aware that Android TV Boxes Sold on Amazon Come Pre-Loaded with Malware | Electronic Frontier Foundation

The topic is wrong two since it is not just cheap devices some expensive boxes are rooted, call for updates that are never made etc, etc. Some of the cheapest devices are widely available but then the question is you trust Google and Amazon with your data? They may well be subject to the Patriot Act.

Security is about awareness, and I don’t think this topic should can be ignored.


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