You know how you can set up your digital assistant apps to spring into action when you mention certain keywords? For Microsoft’s digital assistant those keywords would be ‘Hey Cortana.’ Apple’s would be ‘Hey Siri, ‘ and for Google Now is ‘Okay Google.’
Well, a security research firm in China has unearthed a loop hole that hackers could exploit to access your device using these voice activated digital assistants. The hackers use a high pitched sound that is inaudible to the human ear but is recognizable by the electronic microphones. They are then able to hack your device using voice prompts that are undetectable to the human ears.
That is to say; they can silently talk to your device, using the digital assistant to do their bidding. This hack apparently works in all the major virtual assistant applications; Cortana, Siri, and Google Now among others.
The security research team, from the Zhejiang University, describe this silent audio hack as the DolphinAttack [PDF]. The researchers say:
The DolphinAttack voice commands, though totally inaudible and therefore imperceptible to humans, can be received by the audio hardware of devices, and correctly …read more