Smart speakers are currently just the right accessory in your house. New research, though, indicates possible issues and hackings reports. How is such a thing possible? Researchers discovered how hackers could access your device, unexpectedly and quickly.
The reports include devices that operate on Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa. The smart speakers showed a security issue, becoming very vulnerable.
Researchers found how the micro-electro-mechanical systems, or MEMs, were affected because of their small parts. The components can receive the light as sound, a fact that allows hackers to handle them with a laser pointer, for example. Moreover, a smart speaker is connected to some smart locks, alarms, and other home security accessories, making it even more vulnerable. One of the researchers, Dan Goodin from Ars Technica, explained how the process is being done. He detailed, “We know that light triggers some movement in the microphone’s diaphragm, and that mics are built to interpret such movements as sound, as they’re typically resulting from sound pressure physically hitting the diaphragm.” He also said that the team is working hard to get to a better insight into the issue.
The research involved lots of processes, and the team got the hack working through windows from up to 100 meters. Smart speakers usually don’t have extra security protection available, meaning if you proceed with a voice command, it will work. Remember that before you put aside your Amazon Echo, for example, on a shelf, the attack does not require a line of sight with the speaker. The devices usually issue audible feedback, too, meaning you won’t know if someone was trying to make some online purchases or turn off your device lights remotely.
The hacking requires an advance setup, a kind of well-developed laser, and some other tools to convert audio commands into laser light modulations. For avoiding such a thing, you might consider replacing your smart speaker, and most importantly, to keep it away from windows.
Amazon and Google began their research on the issue.