The smart speakers have occupied an essential place as an excellent home addition due to its advancement. But it also comes with some notable potential security violations. According to some researchers, these smallest of devices can now get hacked by the expert hackers, and moreover, they can do it without any form of noise or sound.
Some of the devices unshielded to this security and safety issue are the most popular and efficient ones like Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. The Facebook Portal device can also get hacked and has security concerns, according to the experts. Nonetheless, tablets and phones are also considered as vulnerable.
The microphones of the smart speakers have MEMs that can easily be manipulated by even a laser pointer, and these small components have the capacity to convert light as sound.
It may seem bizarre at first to imagine how these speakers can be used to invade your privacy because they usually come equipped with smart alarms, smart locks, and different types of security devices specifically designed for homes.
A type of movement is triggered by light in the diaphragm of the microphone, and the in-built mics interpret the movements as a form of sound instead of light because of the sound pressure formed on beating the diaphragm physically, according to the researchers. However, the physics behind this phenomenon is not yet completely understood, and the investigation is currently going on.
The demerit of smart speakers not coming up with an enhanced security protection system makes it easy for hackers. The speakers work on single voice command. An important point to keep in mind is that a single line of sight is needed for the attack. Audible feedback is usually issued by these speakers, so one can easily know if someone else does something to it remotely.
A quite sophisticated setup is required for the exploit, in addition to a focused and robust laser. Audio commands need to be converted into light modulations, and different types of equipment are necessary for this process. It would be ingenious of you to keep your speakers a bit away from your windows, even if you have got trustworthy neighbors.
By the implementation of voice recognition quality, smart speakers can minimize this sort of attack. Even if this kind of attack is unlikely to happen or has very little chance of happening, it is something noticeable and is likely to help in case of any future attacks as well as countermeasures.