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Amazon Echo Hacked into Microphone to Stream Audio

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Published on : Aug 03, 2017

Off late, the entire IT world and everything attached to it is in the risk of being hacked. Recently, researchers found out that the Amazon Echo smart speaker can also be hacked and the audio stream of every sound it hears can be send to the hacker or attacker. Mark Barnes revealed that the attack on some of the version of the Amazon Echo allowed him to almost everything he wanted to do with it. He managed to enter into the software of the device through various connections that were found on its base. He further added that taking over the entire device was a trivial task once the hacker has accessed an Echo.

Echo employs artificial intelligence or AI for responding to voice commands from the users to conduct various functions such as ordering products from a retailer, playing songs, and answering queries.

Insights into Hacking Echo

The hacking was initially conducted with the peeling off of the rubber base of Echo to expose an electrical contacts grid. This was revealed by a researcher from MWR Info Security. Mark Barnes managed to watch the boot-up process of Echo and analyze the method of configuration through connecting to one of the contacts. After gaining this knowledge, Mr. Barnes developed software that could give him control over the entire device after it was loaded on a mini memory card provided he was connected to one contact pad as well.

After this revelation Amazon indirectly put forth a statement saying that customer trust was very important to them.