Hackers Can Use Siri and Google Now to Take Control of Your Phone

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Researchers have figured out how to remotely hack Siri and Google Now, by using your microphone-enabled headphones as a makeshift antenna.

Working on behalf of French government agency ANSSI, sneaky cybergods José Lopes Esteves and Chaouki Kasmi figured out a way to transmit electromagnetic signals to your plugged-in cables. These can then be transformed into electrical signals, which are recognised by your phone as voice commands. In other words, Esteves and Kasmi worked out how to hijack your digital assistant and get them to do pretty much anything.

"Sending out some electromagnetic waves could cause a lot of smartphones to call a paid number and generate cash," said Vincent Strubel, the director of the ANSSI research group. However, there's no need to shit your pants yet, as the hack only works across short distances (up to 16 feet at best) and requires users to have voice commands enabled on the lock screen. That said, it's not exactly fantastic news. [Wired, IEEE]