Can smart speakers to spy on you?

Appliances surrounding us every day more and more “smarter”. If earlier even smart bracelet is perceived as something exotic and interesting, but today almost every second user has a smart watch, smart column or something. However, it is smart columns I would like to highlight. Since these gadgets are specially created to listen to you. And they have access to the Internet and continuously send data to server manufacturers. Potentially a great tool for spying. But is it really?

Listening to if we smart gadgets?

Listening to my smart column?

Researchers dealing with issues of cybersecurity, from the company SRLabs not so long ago found a fairly unique hack. And Yes, do not be afraid that someone hacking into smart speakers. Hacking can work for good, as this kind of team to share with developers of found “holes” to improve the security system of their devices.

So, SRLabs has developed a special team that can be easily integrated into smart speakers. As a “test” performed by Alexa and Google Assistant, which are mounted on, respectively, speakers from Amazon Echo and Google Home. By the way, the last not long ago announced a new generation of columns for a smart home system. In case you missed the news, then subscribe usto be updated with the latest events.

The hack is as follows: smart columns have special indicators that show that at the moment they don’t hear you. Typically it’s some elements of the backlight. When the software encounters a piece of code with a hack, it inserts a long pause before shut down. The display says that the device is “deaf”, although in reality it is not. Of course, in this way the recorded message (if it is created, because the “period of silence” cannot be adjusted) need to intercept, but the very existence of this capability is extremely alarming.

See also: Hackers have started using a popular Google service to send malicious code

This may be a good reason to throw away your smart speakers and not to touch to such products in the future, but do not jump to conclusions. First, on the detected exploit producers already know, and thus be able to provide a solution to the problem. Secondly, third-party applications is not so easy to get to work in tandem with smart columns. And don’t forget that Amazon Echo and Google Home is not so much common in our country. Moreover, it is unknown whether a similar hack on Yandex.Stations in Russian homes still exist. But even so, the specialists of the Russian search company also certainly aware of the problem.

But do not forget, here’s another thing: even assuming that the hackers in a smart column, “the entrance is closed”, then there is still 2 link in the chain. First and foremost, is an Internet data transfer channels in which speakers transmit requests and other information, as well as the company’s servers. There it prihvatiti much easier. Or another thing: do you really 100% believe that manufacturers of smart technology, having such a powerful tool would be to use it? Albeit not maliciously, in order to eavesdrop on your conversation with family members, but to collect data for “vtyuhivaniya” you targeted advertising? On this, at least, worth considering.

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