Five Ways Digital Assistants Pose Security Threats in Home, Office
July 02, 2018 / Robert Lemos
Voice-activated digital assistants in the home—Echo, Cortana, Alexa and Siri—open up a host of new types of vulnerabilities, from issuing commands that aren’t audible to humans to exploiting the accessibility settings activated by digital assistants. Voice-activated digital assistants—such as the Amazon Echo that sits on your counter to Cortana on your Windows systems or Siri on Apple's iPhones—are intended to connect users to services through an easy-to-use voice interface. However, the voice assistants are making cyber-attackers' jobs easier as well. At the Black Hat conference later this month, for example, four researchers will show how Cortana can be used to bypass the security on locked Windows PCs and other devices. While the group is exploiting a specific vulnerability—dubbed "Open Sesame"—the issues with voice assistants are deeper, said Tal Be'ery, an independent researcher and part of the team.