Alexa and Siri Devices
If your already cautious of smart devices like Alexa and Siri, then you want to know about this. Student researchers from Georgetown and UC Berkeley have successfully managed to hide commands in these devices. The students have conducted several studies and tests to try and place hidden commands. These commands are not audible to the people in the room. The white noise of the machine hides these commands. This makes you more wary of your devices like what happened with the Facebook scandal.
Keep Track Of Your Devices
While you are listening to music or watching TV, someone could hack your Amazon Echo. They could give Alexa and Siri specific commands. These commands could include unlocking all the doors in the home, which leaves it susceptible to thieves. Or someone could tell Alexa and Siri to order items without you knowing. Can you imagine strangers purchasing items on your credit card? They might as well be using a cell phone spy app on you.
The researchers say that these techniques are not part of an audio attack. In their research they embed audio commands for YouTube videos or music. So it could be possible to watch a YouTube video that contained an audio command. Such as opening your car door or refrigerator. And there are far worse things that these commands could make happen.
Along with your home and data being at risk, you could be subjected to forced marketing from companies. If you tell Alexa to add toilet paper to the shopping list, the hidden command could tell Alexa to add a certain brand of paper towels. This way that brand would sell more paper towels. And chances are you wouldn’t even notice, even if the brand was more expensive than your usual brand.
Voice activated home assistants and smart home technology can be life changing for people who live alone. Many seniors rely on voice activated technology to get emergency help. And even these hidden commands could be helpful. But if you are going to embrace smart technology like Alexa and Siri, you should be aware of the potential downsides. Protecting your home and information should always be your first priority. If you enjoyed this post, read my thoughts on digital security.