Turning an Echo Into a Spy Device Only Took Some Clever Coding

IT’S IMPORTANT NOT to overstate the security risks of the Amazon Echo and other so-called smart speakers. They’re useful, fun, and generally have well thought-out privacy protections. Then again, putting a mic in your home naturally invites questions over whether it can be used for eavesdropping—which is why researchers at the security firm Checkmarx started fiddling with Alexa, to see if they could turn it into a spy device. They did, with no intensive meddling required.

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