Lifestyle trends have recently embraced a futuristic gadget that acts like a personal assistant. Thanks to artificial intelligence and other innovations in the field, any person can now order a robot in their home to take care of trivial chores. Tech giants introduced gadgets such as Alexa and Siri to respond to and carry out simple voice orders. However, a new report indicates that personal privacy is at the mercy of ultrasound commands that Alexa, Siri, and Google Now can intercept from afar.
Researchers Took Control over AI Assistants through Ultrasound Commands Imperceptible to Human Ears
A team of scientists at Zhejiang University in China has just released new research that proves a point about modern gadgets. It turns out that strangers can gain control over several voice-activated software. This includes popular gadgets such as Amazon’s Alexa or Siri. Their keys that can access any such AI are inaudible ultrasound commands.
As of recently, Google and Amazon introduced similar features called Chromecast and Dash Buttons respectively. These new entries can connect digital personal assistants to owners’ phones. However, this service uses inaudible sounds to perform such a task.
There have been rumors that hackers could take advantage of high-pitched frequencies to the detriment of the gadgets’ owners. However, the Chinese University delivered the first successful experiment that shows how such a mischievous technique can be put into practice.
First of all, researchers built a device using harmonics that can turn voice commands into frequencies. However, these sounds are actually imperceptible to humans’ ear. Afterwards, they directed these orders towards 16 different digital personal assistants on the market, including Samsung S Voice, Cortana, Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Now, and some in-car software.
The scientific team dubbed their experimental hack as “DolphinAttack” due to the fact that dolphins too employ high-pitch sounds to unlock echolocation. The experiment proved to be successful as the AI software performed the commands they intercepted. They even ordered an Audi to perform certain moves by controlling its navigation system.
This new vulnerability could make the AI to access a certain website that starts downloading a virus into the system. Other devious methods can be manipulated to the detriment of device owners.
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