Hackers Can Silently Control Your Google Home, Alexa, Siri With Laser Light

Posted on Friday, 8th November 2019 @ 06:14 PM by Text Size A | A | A

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A team of cybersecurity researchers has discovered a clever technique to remotely inject inaudible and invisible commands into voice-controlled devices — all just by shining a laser at the targeted device instead of using spoken words.

Dubbed ‘Light Commands,’ the hack relies on a vulnerability in MEMS microphones embedded in widely-used popular voice-controllable systems that unintentionally respond to light as if it were sound.

According to experiments done by a team of researchers from Japanese and Michigan Universities, a remote attacker standing at a distance of several meters away from a device can covertly trigger the attack by simply modulating the amplitude of laser light to produce an acoustic pressure wave.

“By modulating an electrical signal in the intensity of a light beam, attackers can trick microphones into producing electrical signals as if they are receiving genuine audio,” the researchers said in their paper [PDF].

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