Hackers Can Use Ultrasounds to Take Control of Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Others

Hackers Can Use Ultrasounds to Take Control of Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Others

By | September 11th, 2017
No Comments on Hackers Can Use Ultrasounds to Take Control of Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Others

Six scientists from Zhejiang University in China have discovered that they

could use ultrasound frequencies — inaudible to human ears — to send

commands to speech recognition software and take over devices such as

smartphones, smart home assistants, or even cars.


														
							

According to the research team, an attacker can take normal voice commands, convert the signal to ultrasound frequencies and use a cheap $3 device made of off-the-shelf electronic equipment to send the commands to nearby electronic devices that run voice assistant software.

The research team says it successfully tested their attack on seven popular speech recognition software products such as Alexa, Cortana, Google Now,  Huawei HiVoice, Samsung S Voice, and Siri.

They also tested the attack on 16 platforms/devices that use this software, such as smartphones, computers, smart home assistants, and even the voice assistant installed on some Audi smart car models.

According to researchers, other more intrusive attacks can also be carried out, such as instructing the user’s browser to visit malicious websites, install malicious apps, subscribe users to premium numbers, launch phone calls and listen on user conversations, and more.

Researchers say their portable attack rig can transmit signals at frequencies of 23 kHz, 25 kHz, 33 kHz, 40 kHz, and 48 kHz. The attack rig can work to distances of up to 1.75 meters (5.75 feet).

The language in which voice commands and background noise might affect the attack’s efficiency and the maximum distance it can be used in a real-life scenario.

Source

Google
Nisheeth Bhakuni