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First botnet attack on smart TV sets identified

By Robert Briel

Digital media measurement software and analytics company DoubleVerify has announced the identification of a new bot network specifically targeting Connected TV (CTV) devices, or smart TVs.

DV uncovered the botnet after the company saw a 40% spike in traffic from such devices, marking the first direct, scaled botnet attack that DV has flagged in the CTV environment. The fraud scheme was identified by the DV Fraud Lab which, through a combination of machine algorithms and manual processes, continuously analyzes trends in fraud across devices.

To generate fraudulent impressions, the botnet spoofed real publisher URLs, sending false signals that tell the ad server that the impressions came from a CTV device. DV also reviewed the types of OTT devices where this fraud was perpetrated, and discovered that approximately one-third of impressions were made to look as though they originated from gaming consoles, with the remaining two-thirds from smart TVs.

“The discovery is not surprising, given that fraud tends to follow the money,” said Wayne Gattinella, CEO of DoubleVerify.

“With current data showing that approximately 50% of all Internet users access an online video subscription service or network TV app at least once a week, CTV ad volumes and the opportunity for CTV ad fraud have grown in line with user adoption.”

Once DV identified the fraud scheme, the company immediately took action to protect its global brand customers from potential fraud – extending quality coverage throughout the media transaction (pre- and post-bid). This type of fraud is something DV has previously detected and protected against in desktop and mobile app environments, and now is addressing within the high-growth CTV channel.

“We are continuously executing independent checks of both environment cues and hardware to verify the authenticity of signals and identify discrepancies that point to falsification,” said Roy Rosenfeld, Head of DoubleVerify’s Fraud Lab.

“DV will continue to stay at the forefront of fraud identification, giving advertisers clarity and confidence in their digital investment.”

(Picture courtesy Cloudflare)

In β€˜Digital India,’ Government Hands Out Free Phones to Win Votes

By VINDU GOEL and SUHASINI RAJ

The leaders of one Indian state gave 2.9 million smartphones to residents, then used them to campaign for re-election. Others may copy the model.

Smart TV sets on the rise in Germany

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Smart TV sets are becoming standard equipment in German TV households.

A total of around 4.6 million TV sets were sold in Germany in the first three quarters of 2018, reports industry association Deutsche TV-Plattform with reference to figures from GfK Retail & Technology. Of these, around 3.4 million (74%) are equipped with smart functions for internet-based services such as apps or catch-up services.

Compared to 2017 (69%), the share of smart TVs in the total market has risen by 5% and since 2015 (60%) by a total of 14%. The majority (86%) of the smart devices sold in 2018 support the HbbTV standard and thus the use of interactive services via the ‘red button’ on the TV remote control.

Recent studies (Digitasation Report 2018, study by gfu Consumer & Home Electronics May 2018) show that almost two thirds of smart flat screens are connected to the internet. In addition to TV sets, around 480,000 smart set-top boxes and devices for playing and recording video content were sold in the first nine months of 2018.

“Access to catch-up portals, apps or streaming and on-demand services is becoming even easier for viewers,” said Andre Prahl, Chairman of Deutsche TV-Plattform. “In addition to the market penetration, the performance of smart TVs is also increasing. For example, the latest features of the HbbTV standard, in the development of which Deutsche TV-Plattform was involved right from the start, open up great potential for the entire media industry and offer viewers and customers genuine added value.”

New business models and the further development of the HbbTV standard are on the agenda of the HbbTV Symposium and Awards 2018, jointly organised by the HbbTV Association and Deutsche TV Platform, which takes place today and tomorrow in Berlin. Among other topics, new forms of advertising with interactive, addressable advertising will be discussed as well as HbbTV Operator Applications (OpApp), enabling platform operators to create their own user interface in order to offer viewers a uniform TV experience across all devices.

Online Photo Printing for the Holidays (and Any Time)

By WIRECUTTER STAFF

Want to share photos this holiday season (and other times)? We have recommendations for cards, photo books, and photo printing services.

Online Photo Printing for the Holidays (and Any Time)

By WIRECUTTER STAFF

Want to share photos this holiday season (and other times)? We have recommendations for cards, photo books, and photo printing services.

Minister: Digitisation of agriculture at the core of post-bailout Greece

By Sarantis Michalopoulos

The digitisation of the agricultural sector will be at the heart of Greece’s growth following the exit from austerity-driven bailouts, Greek minister Nikos Pappas told EURACTIV.com in a recent interview.

50 Years Later, Chicago Artists Are Getting Their Due

By TARIRO MZEZEWA

“The Time Is Now!” at the Smart Museum of Art in Chicago examines a watershed cultural moment and the African-American artists figures who defined it.

Tech We’re Using: Social Media’s Re-engineering Effect, From Myanmar to Germany

By MAX FISHER

When Facebook, YouTube and others use algorithms to keep us engaged, there can be unintended consequences. Max Fisher, his tools in a trusty Patagonia bag, covers the trend as one of The Times’s Interpreter columnists.

Smartphone makers bet on foldable screens as their next big thing

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The smartphone industry has been searching for a breakthrough to revive a market mired in an innovation lull and a sales slump.

Tech We’re Using: Social Media’s Re-engineering Effect, From Myanmar to Germany

By MAX FISHER

When Facebook, YouTube and others use algorithms to keep us engaged, there can be unintended consequences. Max Fisher, his tools in a trusty Patagonia bag, covers the trend as one of The Times’s Interpreter columnists.

Wurl brings programming to Samsung’s TV Plus Service

By Robert Briel

Wurl has entered into an agreement with Samsung to power select programming on Samsung’s TV Plus service.

Integrated with millions of SamsungSmart TVs, TV Plus is a new internet-based TV service delivering a bundle of live channels and on-demand content from multiple media brands.

For Samsung Smart TV owners, the Samsung and Wurl partnership provides effortless access to a growing bundle of broadband-delivered 24/7 TV channels and on-demand content. For video producers, Wurl provides an on-ramp to deliver their programming to the world’s largest installed base of smart TVs.

“TV Plus provides enormous validation of the unstoppable migration of TV to the Internet,” said Sean Doherty, CEO of Wurl. “Samsung is breaking down the legacy TV silos and providing video producers with a more open opportunity to reach viewers and generate revenue.”

Research: UK viewers want voice control for smart TVs

By Broadband TV News Correspondent

New research from Parks Associates finds 24% of UK broadband households that own a smart speaker with personal assistant would like to control their smart TV via this device, nearly twice as many as any other device.

“In the U.K., the NPS of smart speakers is negative, so Amazon, Google Home, and other vendors have some work to do to better adapt their products for the U.K. market,” said Jennifer Kent, Director, Research Quality & Product Development, Parks Associates.

“While these products are immensely popular in the US, in the UK, smart light bulbs have a higher purchase intention for the next year. Overall usage of personal assistant apps in the U.K. matches the US overall, so there is consumer interest for voice control. The smart speaker form factor has yet to deliver the experience U.K. customers expect.”

Kent will present this and other consumer research and discuss its implications in the conference keynote Opportunities and Future Growth in the Smart Home: The UK Consumer at the 13th-annual Connections Europe: Strategies for Smart Home and Consumer IoT on 13-14 November at the Amsterdam Marriott Hotel,.

Apple Raises Prices, and Profits Keep Booming

By JACK NICAS

Apple posted a $14 billion profit thanks higher prices for its products. But it will stop reporting how many products it has sold.

How to Buy a Used Phone Without Getting Fleeced

By WHITSON GORDON

New smartphone season is here, but last year’s models can offer similarly impressive features at great discounts. These tips will help you grab one without regretting it later.

How to Buy a Used Phone Without Getting Fleeced

By WHITSON GORDON

New smartphone season is here, but last year’s models can offer similarly impressive features at great discounts. These tips will help you grab one without regretting it later.

Samsung Reaps Record Profit, but Tougher Times Could Come

By RAYMOND ZHONG

The South Korean giant’s smartphone business is stagnant, and a yearslong run-up in the price of memory chips seems to be cooling down.

Samsung Reaps Record Profit, but Tougher Times Could Come

By RAYMOND ZHONG

The South Korean giant’s smartphone business is stagnant, and a yearslong run-up in the price of memory chips seems to be cooling down.

Greek plan to digitise agriculture wins EU approval

By Sarantis Michalopoulos

In an effort to break from its austerity-driven past and improve the economy’s competitiveness, the Greek government will soon present its national strategy for the digitisation of the agricultural sector.

Tech We’re Using: Just Embed a Phone Into This Editor’s Mind, Already

By CHOIRE SICHA

Choire Sicha, who runs The New York Times’s Styles desk, has such a close relationship with his smartphone, he says, it may be time to “punch the circuitry into the back of our skull.”

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