Researchers in Japan and at the University of Michigan recently said that they had figured out how to take control over Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri devices from several feet away by shining laser pointers, and even flashlights, at the devices’ mouthpieces.
What brought this one was the ascent of the voice-controlled digital assistants, introduced a couple of years back and the security experts have expressed their worries that systems like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa were a privacy danger and could be effectively and easily hacked.
Kevin Fu, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan with respect to the usage of laser pointers said that “This opens up an entirely new class of vulnerabilities, it’s difficult to know how many products are affected because this is so basic.”
The computer science and electrical engineering researchers — Takeshi Sugawara at the College of Electro-Interchanges in Japan and Mr. Fu, Daniel Genkin, Sara Rampazzi, and Benjamin Cyr at the College of Michigan — all of them released their findings regarding the same issue in a paper on the 4th of November.
The researchers said they had informed Tesla, Portage, Amazon, Apple, and Google to the light vulnerability and the companies all responded saying that they were ‘studying’ the conclusions in the paper that was released.
Despite the fact that there is no clear indication that the light vulnerability defined on the 4th has been utilized by hackers, however, with a torrent of internet-connected devices rising in the market, the researchers said the revelation was a reminder to the consumers to be on the lookout in areas concerning security in the coming future.