Google and Amazon approved home speaker apps that spied on users

    Date21 Oct 2019
    CategoryPrivacy
    1345
    Posted ByBrittany Day
    LS Hmepg 337x500 13

    Privacy is a hot topic in the realm of smart speakers, from employees listening in on recordings and auditors accessing user locations. Now, another issue regarding speakers has been raised, after security researchers revealed that apps accepted by the Amazon Alexa and Google Home platforms could be used to phish users and to eavesdrop on them. Learn more in an interesting Engadget article:

    Researchers from the firm Security Research Labs created the apps, known as Skills for Alexa and Actions for Google Home, which exploited security vulnerabilities to hack devices, as reported by Ars Technica. SRL created several apps for each platform which appeared to be legitimate skills like a horoscope app, but which actually hid malicious code.

    The apps were able to collect personal data including passwords, and also to eavesdrop on users even after they thought that the speaker was no longer listening. This worked by the app giving a fake error message which sounded as if it had closed, while it actually it continued operating and taking down a transcript of everything the user said after that point.

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