Question Samsung 'Stand' t.v. broadcasting to neighbours

Jul 27, 2021
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My next door neighbours, in the other 'half' of my semi-detached house, have apparently installed a Samsung 'Stand' t.v. I know this because while I was listening to a podcast on headphones (Sony WX1000 M3 phones) yesterday I heard part of a conversation from next door. I recognised the voice instantly as it was so clear, but listened to the podcast twice more to check what I had heard was not a glitch in that. I checked which Bluetooth kit I had connected to my Mac (OS 11.4 Big Sur) and a Samsung Stand t.v. was listed with the 'connect' icon beside it. This is the only 'foreign' device I've ever seen listed in Bluetooth. Obviously I don't know the password so wouldn't have been able to connect anyway but I didn't try it. These neighbours are engaged in some kind of criminal activity; I've learned not to have any contact with them and the police are involved.

Samsung's website says that their t.v. models don't pick up signals from Bluetooth peripherals like mice and keyboards, but how secure is this? Are my router and computer passwords the sum of the protection I have against the possibilities of this technology? I went through firewall options when I installed the new OS but rechecked I had everything I don't need, turned off. I'm asking because two months ago they tapped my landline phone and were using it as a microphone to listen inside my home. They took my contacts then called my mobile which showed the incoming call as coming from my own landline phone. The police said it's very unlikely they were actually able to hear my phone conversations. Initially I didn't see the repeated flashing of the handset because I was sorting a lot of books and the handset was hidden. The main phone is in another room. My cat noticed something happening; he was distressed, growling, ears back or flicking constantly, staring at a spot high on the party wall and trying to climb the furniture to reach it. The woman has assaulted me twice. I've had to write up the history of the harassment I've had from these neighbours over the last 15 months and instead of e-printing I set up a USB connection and printed what I needed that way, just 'in case'. I also use a wired mouse, put a USB cable in my convertible keyboard, and turn Bluetooth off while I'm doing this stuff. This is crazy, but very serious. I'm severely disabled and the ease of Bluetooth is positively helpful, not just a convenience.

Is there a threat that technology like this can be used for listening in on others? Is it a known problem? I don't have a t.v., online catch-up is enough for me. I'm only a user of this stuff, not an expert. I'd really appreciate your views on whether there's a threat to others as well as the user having to make sure they know the potential risks to themselves. These neighbours are aware of the problem - their television hasn't shown in my Bluetooth devices today.

TIA for your hellp.

Meridien
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Any device that connects to anything can be used for listening in on others, all depends on how hard someone tries to do it. No it's not a known problem as in it's happening everywhere all the time, it's just security holes and exploits. The IOT stuff has security issues but again that needs to be actively exploited, and I really doubt anything like that is happening for you.

If you look in the WiFi list on your devices you will find several signals, if there is a bluetooth connection that is active close enough, you will see that also.
I doubt the neighbors are doing anything here. You can't tap a landline phone and use it as a microphone to listen in on things since the phone would have to be turned on for that to work, meaning off the hook with an active connection, and it takes some special equipment to do, I doubt anyone cares enough about what you do to go through the trouble of setting anything up. Your cat would have no idea anything was going on, it's just acting like a cat towards whatever random things it sees around the house. Unless you are a diplomat or head of a company, the neighbors would not bother tapping into your phone lines to see what shows you are listening to or what you are ordering for dinner.
 
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