Are Cortana and Siri more of a Security Risk than Helpful Assistants?

We are living in a digital era where artificial intelligence has been blooming in the past couple of years. It’s no wonder. Who doesn’t want a virtual assistant who will be with them at any given time and place? She’s with you 24/7, isn’t nagging, doesn’t require a paycheck and is very handy.

Besides that, they can instantly give you any information you require solely by using your voice.

Have you ever stopped to think what happens with all the things we say in front of these devices? If it reacts to you calling their name, it must mean that they are actually listening in the whole time in order to be able to react to certain words.

When it comes to convenience, there’s no doubt that they are extremely helpful and easy to use. However, when it comes to safety, there might be a couple of red flags you should take into consideration. Here are a couple of them.

1. They are always listening

As we have briefly mentioned before, they are literally eavesdropping on our every conversation. Even though that might seem harmless, bear in mind the fact that any information you give out could be potentially used against you in various ways.

Take this as an example. Whenever you type, a certain sound specific to each letter is heard out loud. Then, think about the fact that almost every AI device, including Siri and Cortana have very sensitive microphones built-in that can detect even the slightest sound.

So, what would happen if a person illegally managed to penetrate the device and set up a connection? They would be able to hear every sound you make. They would even be able to pick up your passwords based on the keyboard sounds we mentioned earlier.

2. Dolphin Attack

Dolphin Attack is basically a black hat technique that uses ultrasonic sounds that are inaudible to a human ear but can be easily detected and heard by your AI devices. By using this technique, they can easily and silently emit controls such as to open your door if you have a smart system, they can access malicious websites, etc.

Imagine having all your sensitive information stolen and not even noticing it until it’s too late. Not only can they steal your information, but they can also use that data to spy on you, send fake messages, make fake calls, download malicious files. They can even go as far as completely disabling your device, leaving you helpless in case of an attack.

3. Identity theft and data stitching

However, the Dolphin Attack isn’t the only security risk they pose. There are various other ways of hacking their software, and hackers usually do that in order to get sensitive information that they sell on the black market afterwards. Even if they can’t get all the info at once, they can use pieces of information to make a bigger picture about your life.

They can see what kind of things you like, they can check your schedule, and basically stalk you. That is definitely not a laughing matter and you should think twice before leaving your mic on. It’s not pleasant thinking about how someone can know every little secret of yours you willingly share with your devices. Not to mention the eerie question of what they might do with that information.

As everything in life, there are pros and cons. It’s inevitable to say that these devices are very handy and convenient. However, in this internet era, we must realize that our information isn’t as secure as it used to be.

We need to keep everything we do in check and think twice before posting or saying any information that we otherwise wouldn’t be willing to. The key word here is to proceed with caution.

You can always enjoy all these pleasures, but not at the cost of your own safety. So, this is a good start on educating yourself further about potential safety hazards.