Many people around the world use artificial intelligence-based personal assistants such as Siri or Alexa for many jobs such as checking locks in their smart homes and shopping online. When you say the voice command that initiates the assistant, and the resulting sound waves reach the smart device’s microphone called the aperture, the aperture moves and electrical signals are generated that the device’s software can understand and respond to.
According to new research funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency,cybercriminals can hack into Siri, Alexa and other voice-activated artificial intelligence assistants without saying a word. A team from japan and the University of Michigan has found that an attacker can encode a beam of light instead of saying a command. Then, when they turned the light onto a device’s microphone, they saw that they were moving like diaphragm sound waves.
In tests, researchers claimed they could hack Siri and other Artificial Intelligence assistants up to 110 meters. This is the maximum distance they can reach. They also checked a device in a building from a bell tower 70 meters away by laser light.
Researchers can purchase the equipment needed to reach an Artificial Intelligence assistant for less than $400. The telephoto lens required for long-distance attacks can be as high as $600, but this is a small price to pay for access to everything from a person’s online accounts to locks that keep their homes safe. So it’s better to be careful.