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Samsung can remotely brick your smart television

Samsung has revealed it has the capability to remotely brick its smart television sets, once they’re connected to the internet.

The South Korean firm’s admission came after it emerged a number of TV units were recently stolen from a South African warehouse holding the products.

The ‘Television Block Function’ feature, which is pre-installed on all the company’s sets and enables the company to shut down any ill-gotten telly, provided it can be reached via the internet.

In a statement, the company says: “Samsung will be activating TV block on all Samsung television sets looted from our warehouse since the week commencing 11 July 2021. Rest assured, this will help.

“TV Block is a remote, security solution that detects if TV units have been unduly activated. This technology is already pre-loaded on all Samsung TV products.”

The technology side is pretty simple, with Samsung adding the serial number to a database of stolen sets. Once that serial number is picked up online, the TV will be completely disabled.

Samsung says the incentive is to prevent further theft and discourage sales on the secondary market. The company also says it’ll make sure the TVs can only be used by their rightful owner.

The company is including a lifeline for those who believe they’ve been incorrectly blocked, but customers will need to provide proof of purchase before the functionality is reinstated.

We haven’t heard of the feature being used outside of South Africa thus far, but in the future, it might be satisfying for those who’re the victims of theft to know the assailants won’t get any further use and value out of the set.

The news comes after it emerged Samsung is disabling the cameras of Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 phones of users who’re attempting to access the boot-loader to modify the phone’s operating system.

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