Ultrasound Whispers, a Call for Trouble for the Global Voice Controlled Devices Market

Posted on: Oct-2017 | By: MarketDeeper | Electrical & Electronic Device

Some of the commonly used digital voice assistants include Siri and Alexa. These voice assistants have currently hijacked the global voice controlled devices market. The devices are being designed such that they can make use of sounds other than the range of human hearing. Currently, even the hackers are making use of the voice assistants to make fake phone calls, disconnect wireless services, and even post on social media. Thus, in short, the global voice controlled devices market seems to be in great jeopardy.

Can you hear that? No right! But, the voice assistants just did. According to the sources, the assistants that have fallen prey to the ultrasound whispers include of Samsung S Voice, Apple’s Siri, Huawei HiVoice, Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Now along with some of the voice control systems used in the automobiles such as cars. The use of the ultrasounds to corrupt the voice assistants can prove to be of great threat to the people using it on a daily basis as some of their personal data may be breached. Thus, it very important for the voice assistant manufacturers to look out for a solution as soon as possible before things get out of hand.

For proving the affects of ultrasound, the researchers Chen Yan, Guoming Zhang, and their group from the Zhejiang University have used an inaudible command to hack into the voice controlled devices and either use or hack the data present in it. If the voice assistants only set alarm, played music, or gave out information then it wouldn’t have been such as big problem. However, due to its connection with the smartphones, internet banking services and others have put it in a pretty serious situation.

The hackers are using the ultrasound to convert the wake-up commands such as Hey Siri or OK Google to high-pitch analogues. The lack of voice wavelength differentiation makes the assistant still identify them as legitimate commands; even though it is completely inaudible to the human ears. Using this technique, the attackers could download malware from websites so as to start a video call or spy the surroundings. Even the texting of messages or posting things online was made possible. But, for making all this possible, the hacker has to be present within the range of 2–175 cm.

Thus, the voice assistants have to be advanced in terms of security and technology so as to withstand the attacks and help the global market surge upwards.