Can a Laser Pointer Hack Smart Home Devices?

Here’s a scene you won’t believe: A thief points a laser pointer at an Amazon smart home control device installed in your home while you’re asleep, commands it to open the garage door, and then directs Amazon’s voice assistant to tell it Start your car. The thought of this is frightening.

Recently, a research group from the University of Michigan and a research group in Japan have collaborated to form their research results into a paper detailing the various types of laser attacks mentioned above. All of these attacks use focused light to manipulate modern smart home devices and are generally effective at ranges of 100 meters. Many people may not understand, what is the principle of this?

The researchers explained that the specific frequency of the laser emitted by the laser pointer adds a special Electronic signal, which is actually a “light command”. Shockingly, this “light command” modulates the intensity of the light beam along with a specific electronic signal, which, when aimed at the microphone, induces the microphone to generate an electronic signal, and the microphone responds as if the microphone received it. Like real audio. That is, the built-in microphone of your smart device, which can detect the sound waves you emit, can also respond to focused light.

Sophisticated hackers can use laser modulators to record the sounds people make, then modulate the beams of light into pulses that mimic the same patterns of people’s voices, and issue commands to smart devices. Once sent to the device, the smart device reacts accordingly as if someone were speaking to it. To make matters worse, the device, which can manipulate other people’s smart devices from 100 meters away, can be easily purchased on Amazon.com.

The research team has so far notified Amazon, Apple and Google of the vulnerabilities, but it is disturbing that these companies have no solutions for these very dangerous vulnerabilities. The editor is here to remind friends who read this article that if you have installed smart home devices produced by these companies in your home, the most important thing you can do now is to ensure that your device terminals are installed as far as possible. In a hidden place, do not place it near doors and windows, because the laser cannot penetrate the wall, so the thief cannot operate through the window.

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