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Samsung says it can remotely brick any of its TVs

The company used the system to block stolen TVs in South Africa

Samsung says it can remotely brick any of its TVs
Thomas Macaulay
Story by

Thomas Macaulay

Writer at Neural by TNW — Thomas covers AI in all its iterations. Likes Werner Herzog films and Arsenal FC. Writer at Neural by TNW — Thomas covers AI in all its iterations. Likes Werner Herzog films and Arsenal FC.

Samsung has unveiled a new way of combatting TV theft: a system that can remotely brick the company’s televisions.

The firm says the tech was activated on TVs that were looted from a warehouse in South Africa amid the worst unrest in the country since apartheid.

The South Korean tech giant added that the system is “already preloaded on all Samsung TV products.” It does, however, only work once the device is online.

Bricking TV

Samsung said the feature, known as Television Block Function, is activated when a stolen TV is connected to the internet:

Once connected, the serial number of the television is identified on the Samsung server and the blocking system is implemented, disabling all the television functions.

The company said devices that are incorrectly blocked can be restored to normal service once proof of purchase and a valid TV license are provided.

The feature may help combat the sale of stolen televisions, but Samsung’s ability to remotely brick any of its TVs is slightly unnerving.

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