Getting Started - Setup & How-to

Help getting started with Roku devices, including setup, connecting your device to your TV, linking a Roku device to your account at my.roku.com/link, adding channels, subscribing to services, and more.
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JZ915
Level 7

Roku activated itself and someone is trying to send a message

Bought a Roku for my parents.  They just called me, rather upset...they were watching regular cable on HDMI 1, all of a sudden the TV changes itself to HDMI 2, which is their Roku, and a message popped up on the screen that their next door neighbor is trying to send them a message.  What could possibly be going on?  I have my own Roku and nothing like this has ever happened to me.  They now want to disconnect and pitch their Roku...

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1 REPLY 1\
StreamerUser
Level 20

Re: Roku activated itself and someone is trying to send a message

Several possibilities come to mind:

1) Roku was compromised prior to purchase, have device details, allowing access/onscreen messages

2) Roku was activated through scam/fraud site/service, have device details, allowing access/onscreen messages.

3) Parents WiFi/Home Network has no/weak password and/or is compromised, allowing access/onscreen messages.

4) Screen sharing was used by someone nearby, doesnt require network access, allowing onscreen messages.

Roku devices (and other streamers/CE, to be fair) have little to no (and broken) device security, so once someone has access to the network all sorts of mischief and shenanigans can be had.  WiFi Direct functionality allows non-network access, making it even easier.

They should check/change their WiFi password(s), and disable any screen sharing/Miracast/WiFi Direct functionality and limit network access (somewhat broken):

Settings/System/Screen mirroring/Screen mirroring mode=Never allow

Settings/System/Advanced system settings/Control by mobile apps/Network access=Disabled

Settings/System/Advanced system settings/Device connect=Disabled   (only works with non-stick models using IR-only remotes/unpaired remotes in IR mode)

 

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