4 Security Vulnerabilities That Affected Voice Recognition Technology

Voice Recognition Technology is a big thing these days but did you know the threats it carries within itself?

“Hey, Siri! Who was the Prime Minister of Britain in 1868?” — You must have seen this brilliant ad featuring the ever-beautiful Penelope Cruz. Whether it be “Siri” on your Apple devices or “OK Google” on your Android devices, voice recognition technologies are there to make the task of scrolling through the phone mind-blowingly convenient for you. Every command that you wish to give to your device or any task that you wish to perform on them can be easily performed because of this amazing technology that is Voice Recognition.

Big corporations, as well as government employees, have started using voice recognition software like Dragon Assistant to make typing on your device an effortless job. Every device from your phone to your car or your TV today use voice commands to perform their functions.

However, as is the case with all technologies, Voice Recognition is also prone to security threats. Voice Recognition is more prone to such cyber-attacks if we compare them with other biometric information like fingerprints as you are readily giving out your voice samples to the miscreants in the cyber-space. In this article, we shall be discussing such threats that you should be aware of while using such Voice Recognition programs. Keep reading.

Impersonation threats

Yes, you read it right! You may have heard about identity impersonation but hackers today are way more capable of impersonating your voice to harm your online presence. A voice recognition attack bypasses security mechanism using a cloned speech command/ your sample voice or similar methods to impersonate your voice which in turn gives such hackers access to your important files and your privacy and security are at an unimaginable risk.

Beware of spam call which looks sketchy to you and never gives them such voice inputs which can be used later to gain access to your online identity. Also, refrain from sending your voice sample to cloud servers which are accessible by all. These are the most common methods of collecting your voice samples and using them to exploit your security vulnerabilities.

The Siri-bug

The pre-installed hands-free Siri on your Apple device has made navigation streamless for you, but there are some “Siri” threats that you must be aware of while using it.  The program is capable of recognizing your voice and give you personalized results. However, researchers have found that Siri can be controlled remotely.

Siri can be manipulated to accept commands from any unauthorized person. Just a simple radio wave sent to the headphone connected to your iPhone can activate Siri on your device and made to perform activities you may not even be aware of. So, next time you call out to Siri makes sure that your Siri is not being controlled by any other person than you.

Google Now vulnerability

Very similar to Siri, the “Google Now” program is also capable of receiving voice commands on your Android device and act accordingly. Researchers at the AVG, the anti-virus software company, developed a game which, once installed, makes the users recite the voice commands used for launching “Google Now.” The game was able to use such voice commands to access “Google Now” and send messages to the third parties. This leaves the device prone to financial forgeries online.

Vulnerabilities on your Samsung TV

Using a network inspection tool, Wireshark, researchers have been successful in capturing the data on the TV and transmitting it to the internet. Such attack intercepts traffic from the user’s TV and internet leading the TV into thinking that the hacker’s device is the access point to the internet. The method opens the TV to several vulnerabilities that can be exploited by the hackers. However, Samsung claims to have fixed the bug. Still, users must be really careful about the contents accessible by their TVs.

Conclusion

Voice Recognition technology has been a boon to this fast-paced world where everything is made accessible by just ‘talking’ to your device. However, one must keep in mind the vulnerabilities that come along with it. Don’t keep the following technology blindly and keeping your security and privacy at risk. Stay safe!

Ali Raza

Ali is a freelance journalist, having 5 years of experience in web journalism and marketing. He contributes to various online publications. With a master degree, now he combines his passions for writing about internet security and technology. When he is not working, he loves traveling and playing games.