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Welcome to the Voice of the DBA, thoughts from Steve Jones on databases, SQL Server, and life.

May 25, 2017

There are running jokes about how Amazon Alexa and Google Home are susceptible to visitors in your home. It's become a bit of test from some geeks who will walk in your house and call "Hey, Alexa" out loud to see if you have a device that's available. I even had an accidental Siri activation while recording some content recently. I said something that started Siri listening on my phone and then a few people nearby kept trying to duplicate the effort. Fortunately Siri wouldn't come on, so no one was able to cause too much trouble. I suspect that the speakers in the recording room weren't positioned well enough to allow the control room based hacking.

I know that will change. In fact, even if Apple and other companies manage to get digital assistants to recognize specific people's voices (as rumored), technology marches on. People are already starting to fake audio data. The fidelity of digital recording and capabilities of speakers improve constantly. This is going to be a greater and greater issue over time, and I have no idea what security technique will prevent things. Maybe we need two factor authentication for audio commands? Won't that defeat the purpose?

Read the rest of "Audio Attacks"