Hacks are often caused by our own stupidity, but you can blame tech companies for a new vulnerability. Researchers from China's Zheijiang University found a way to attack Siri, Alexa and other voice assistants by feeding them commands in ultrasonic frequencies. Those are too high for humans to hear, but they're perfectly audible to the microphones on your devices. With the technique, researchers could get the AI assistants to open malicious websites and even your door if you had a smart lock connected.
The relatively simple technique is called DolphinAttack. Researchers first translated human voice commands into ultrasonic frequencies (over 20,000 hz). They then simply played them back from a regular smartphone equipped with an amplifier, ultrasonic transducer and battery -- less than $3 worth of parts.
What makes the attack scary is the fact that it works on just about anything: Siri, Google Assistant, Samsung S Voice and Alexa, on devices like smartphones, iPads, MacBooks, Amazon Echo and even an Audi Q3 -- 16 devices and seven system in total. What's worse, "the inaudible voice commands can be correctly interpreted by the SR (speech recognition) systems on all the tested hardware." Suffice to say, it works even if the attacker has no device access and the owner has taken the necessary security precautions.