Researchers Hacked Amazon’s Alexa to Spy On Users, Again

A malicious proof-of-concept Amazon Echo Skill shows how attackers can abuse the Alexa virtual assistant to eavesdrop on consumers with smart devices – and automatically transcribe every word said.

Checkmarx researchers told Threatpost that they created a proof-of-concept Alexa Skill that abuses the virtual assistant’s built-in request capabilities. The rogue Skill begins with the initiation of an Alexa voice-command session that fails to terminate (stop listening) after the command is given. Next, any recorded audio is transcribed (if voices are captured) and a text transcript is sent to a hacker. Checkmarx said it brought its proof-of-concept attack to Amazon’s attention and that the company fixed a coding flaw that allowed the rogue Skill to capture prolonged audio on April 10.

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