Lasers can silently issue 'voice commands' to your smart speakers

Discussion in 'Headline News' started by jigwashere, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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  2. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    I'm confused. Why wouldn't covering the microphone with tape fix the problem? Doesn't the laser need to shine directly on the microphone? And what kind of microphone redesign would solve the issue, other than moving the microphone out of line-of-sight (e.g., deeper into the device)?

    I would love to add more smarthings to my house, if they would prove useful. The house came with a first generation Nest thermostat. I don't really understand how it's that much better than a standard programmable one. Remotely turning on and off lights? Cool trick, but I'm not sure how useful when I already have 3-way and 4-way switches, timers and motion sensors. I do have one RF remote for the landscape lights which is nice. I thought about getting the MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener, but since I work from home, it's rarely a concern that someone forgot it open. Smartlocks would be great and I'd buy them in a heartbeat. I have no worries about a hacker unlocking them - it would be unlikely. The bigger worry is some kid with a homemade bump key opening my existing locks or an opportunistic thief entering the house because someone forgot to lock the door. Smartlocks would give me piece of mind as well as convenience. Unfortunately, I have Anderson multipoint door latches that need to be engaged before locking. Did I mention my new washer and dryer are smart? Oh, yeah. They notify me on my smartphone that I could buy detergent and dryer sheets on Amazon. Perfect.
     
  3. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    Washington Post article: Hackers can hijack your iPhone or smart speaker with a simple laser pointer — even from outside your home. Um....no. Not with a simple laser pointer.

    This article from Wired seems more helpful: Hackers Can Use Lasers to ‘Speak’ to Your Amazon Echo or Google Home. Solutions to fixing the problem are pretty simple and include moving devices out of site, covering the microphone so light can't penetrate, or redesigning the devices to have 2 microphones, making it more difficult to hack.
     
  4. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    I suppose if it was 'soundproof' tape -- as I understand the hack, the laser needs to be able to induce vibrations in the target; my guess is that a simple piece of tape over a mic would still vibrate and the mic would pick that up. just my 2¢ {Aside: RA finds it frustrating that it's easier to add the cents sign when posting on his phone, rather than when posting on a PC}
     
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  5. Hook

    Hook Professional Daydreamer

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    What's so hard about Alt-0162? (Hook is aware that not everyone has a numpad, especially on laptops, he's just being an ass). :vbwink:
     
  6. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    You might be right about the tape, but why are we left to speculate about it? The article is poorly written.

    You're being noncentsical.
     
  7. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    Ultimately, nothing; it wasn't on my cheat-sheet, and I had to kick-off the M$ CharPad program. And, of the many things you may be, author John Hook, a "dull, stupid person" *TOTALLY* is not on the list. {RA is showing his age, as that definition seems to have evolved, since he looked it up manyyears ago…}
     
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  8. EdmundDantes

    EdmundDantes Mobile Deity

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    My understanding of CD/DVD players is that the laser bounces off 'pits' in the disc, back to a sensor that converts the pits into 1s and 0s, which are sent to a digital-to-analog converter which converts the digital info into an 'old-fashioned' electric signal that manipulates the output devices like speakers or a display.
     
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