This month, a Samsung logistics center in South Africa was looted by several criminals who entered the compound, as recorded by several video cameras. The assailants took many boxes of televisions of the brand that were ready to be sold. What the thieves did not know is that the South Korean company had an ace up its sleeve.
The riots in KwaZulu-Natal, the home province of former President Jacob Zuma, included shopping malls and other businesses, which were vandalized by groups of assailants who seized electronic devices and other supplies.
After the outbreaks of the incident, Samsung has confirmed that all these televisions have been remotely deactivated with a new feature called “TV Block”.
It detects if a company television was activated in an illegal way and prevents it from turning on. Which also works for home burglaries, since the owners could obtain an activation key.
The lock operates at the moment with the most expensive screens of the firm.
Although at the moment it is not clear what procedure the owner must follow to disable his screen remotely.
The locking system is activated when the computer connects to the Internet, the only way to validate the Smart TV. If the serial number matches one of the stolen televisions from the warehouse, all functions are completely disabled.
In case any device has been blocked by mistake, it can be easily unlocked by sending the purchase receipt to the brand’s technical support.
The TV Block system began to be pre-installed on Samsung televisions in July 2021. For now, this digital lock applies to the most expensive screens of the firm. But little by little, it will reach the intermediate models.
And while this method works as a deterrent, it can also be a double-edged sword, as explained by some security experts.
What they indicate is that incorporating functions of this type is something really dangerous, since not only is the company being given great power but, someone can discover the way to hack those TVs and activate the function to block televisions.
On the phones
A similar system use the signature to block phones that have been stolen. Samsung Dive (findmymobile.samsung.com/login.do) is a web tool created to locate Samsung devices.
The Samsung Dive mobile locking system.
It is a free service accessed through a web page using the Samsung account that is linked to the device.
The same Samsung operates with the software ‘Find my mobile’ (‘Find my mobile’) that like Apple, for some months it works even if the phone does not have an internet connection.
In addition to locating the location, through Samsung Dive you can lock the mobile. In this way, the contents in it are secured until an unlocking code is entered that the real user can establish on the page where they are.
In addition, it has the possibility of establishing a permanent alert message on the screen personalized by the user. You just have to write it and press the block button.