Hackers Can Control Siri and Google Now Silently and Remotely
Cernescu Andrei / 4 years ago
Even though Apple and Google’s operating systems and apps are usually relatively safe from hackers, at least compared to other similar software, it looks like hackers have found a way to control Siri and Google Now from up to 16 feet away and without having to say a single word. The vulnerability was discovered by the French Network and Information Security Agency, whose experts notified Apple and Google immediately. This means that a fix is most likely imminent and that hackers won’t have too much time to exploit the flaw, but it’s still quite alarming that they were able to pull off such an impressive trick in the first place.
The hack only works if the targeted device has a pair of microphone-enabled headphones plugged in, and only if Siri or Google Now is enabled. Using a nearby laptop equipped with an open-source radio software, an antenna and an amplifier, the hacker can “transform” the device’s headphone cord into an antenna that receives radio waves. These radio waves are interpreted by Google Now or Siri as actual voice commands that are executed immediately. As for solutions, there are several that could be implemented in the future, but for now, it’s probably a good idea to disable Google Now or Siri on your device if you’re concerned about a potential attack. Adding an electromagnetic sensor in smartphones in order to block hacking attempts could be a viable solution, but manufacturers could also try to protect the headphone cords better by adding some extra shielding.
Do you have any ideas for potential fixes?
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