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  1. ITV Report

Samsung 'urgently' investigating smart TV spying claims

Samsung is looking into the WikiLeaks claims surrounding smart TVs. Credit: AP/Rich Pedroncelli/File

Samsung is "urgently" investigating claims that intelligence agencies have been found ways to use the firm's smart TVs to spy on people.

Whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has published thousands of documents which it claims reveal the various hacking tools used by the CIA, including techniques which turn household gadgets into spying devices.

The leaked report claims software was developed to enable Samsung smart TVs to record conversations without the user knowing, a project codenamed 'Weeping Angel' and which the documents said included input from the UK spy agency MI5.

Protecting consumers' privacy and the security of our devices is a top priority at Samsung. We are aware of the report in question and are urgently looking into the matter.

– Samsung statement
In a statement Samsung said 'protecting consumers' privacy' is a top priority. Credit: Rainer Jensen/PA

The leaked documents claim a "fake-off" mode was created which tricked users into believing their TV screen was off when instead it was secretly recording audio that would be sent to CIA servers once the screen was turned back on and an internet connection re-established.

Many modern, internet-connected TVs come with voice control options, meaning a microphone is placed inside the device in order to pick up voice commands issued by users.

Apple also responded to the report by reiterating its stance on consumer privacy, but it also urged users to ensure their devices are running the most up-to-date security software.

"Apple is deeply committed to safeguarding our customers' privacy and security," the iPhone maker said in a statement.

"While our initial analysis indicates that many of the issues leaked today were already patched in the latest iOS, we will continue work to rapidly address any identified vulnerabilities.

"We always urge customers to download the latest iOS to make sure they have the most recent security updates."

Google declined to comment on WikiLeaks' claims.