Nov 6th, 2019

If there was ever a reason to be wary of smart speakers, it would be because they are always listening. This has created some privacy concerns about whether or not these companies are spying on you, and to make matters worse, it seems that it has been discovered that these smart speakers can be easily hijacked using a laser beam.

This was revealed during demonstrations at the University of Michigan and University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo by researcher Takeshi Sugarawa, where he used a modulating 60 milliwatt laser beam to mimic the sound of a human voice. This beam was pointed at a smart speaker, like the Google Home which was used as a demo, which in turn made the speaker think that it was being given a command.

This means that in theory, a person with a smart home could be at risk because all it would take is for the robber to point the beam at your smart speaker, tell it to unlock your front door or to disable your security cameras, and they would be in and out of your home without any hassle.

Smart speakers aren’t just at risk here, because according to the researcher’s work, it could be used with any device that has a microphone and has voice control software, like our smartphones or smartwatches. Google has since acknowledged Sugarawa’s work and stated that they are reviewing the research paper.

Source: Android Police

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