The Secret Lurker: Voice Squatting

Published in Member Communities on April 03, 2019

The opportunity to have virtual assistants in our home or in our business is an experience previously only dreamed about on shows like the Jetsons. As we reach the crest of this new technology, we are learning the risks posed due to advancement. Here’s what you need to know about the phenomenon known as “voice squatting.”

How It Works

A virtual assistant (like Google Home or Alexa) can make your grocery list, tell you the weather and play songs on command. However, when your personal robot lets in a criminal, you want to know how it happened. Since these devices work through voice activation, hackers take advantage of this by creating apps that sound similar to others you may requesting via voice commands.

Once allowed into your home, they have access to the audio recording capabilities of the Alexa, Google Home or Apple Home Pod devices. Additionally, researchers are finding criminals can set up triggers by any audio stream that has been tampered with to initiate voice commands without you ever knowing.

Why It’s a Threat

Aside from the breach of privacy, hackers will have access to vital information such as health information and financial accounts. For example, when you ask the device to open your account information at “ABC Bank,” it could trigger an opening of the app “ABD Bank,” which was purposely given a name similar to a voice command you make, and is controlled by hackers.

What It Means for Your Device

While the creators of these devices have yet to come up with a solution to voice squatting, there are some things you can do to lessen your concern instead of getting rid of the device altogether.

  • Don’t conduct any financial business on the device.
  • Update your microphone settings. You can set only certain applications to have access to the microphone. You can turn off the microphone altogether when having private conversations.
  • Keep the device clean. Just as you would on your computer or phone, be sure to clear out your voice history.
  • As an organization, only allow the device in rooms where it cannot possibly be a threat to you or your clients.

Check out our security services to see how we can help protect your organization.


comments powered by Disqus

From Our Experts

The Importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Your Business thumbnail The Importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Your Business If there's anything 2020 taught us as an industry, it's that adapting to a changing marketplace is no longer optional. Keeping up can mean the difference between growing your business and simply staying afloat. If you have not begun prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in your business, now is the time to start. Read more on what it means, why it matters and small steps business owners can take. Using Net Promoter Score to Measure Customer Satisfaction thumbnail Using Net Promoter Score to Measure Customer Satisfaction Your company can probably survive without a customer satisfaction metric, but should it? And if you did want to measure customer satisfaction, where would you start? Stephanie Hookham explains how VGM uses NPS as a tool to gauge customer satisfaction. Telehealth in Complex Rehab: Part 3 thumbnail Telehealth in Complex Rehab: Part 3 In today's episode of Industry Matters President of U.S. Rehab, Greg Packer, and Vice President of Rehabilitation Program Development at HOMELINK, Kyle Walker, wrap up a 3-part podcast series on the importance telehealth has played, and will continue to play in the complex rehab industry. Register for the OPGA Members-Only Portal! thumbnail Register for the OPGA Members-Only Portal! As a member, you have exclusive access to the OPGA members-only portal. With one single login, you get access to all resources and materials available to members. OPGA Announces Website Redesign thumbnail OPGA Announces Website Redesign Refreshed and enhanced for a more user-friendly experience, this updated site makes it easier for members to find the information they're looking for. VGM Wound Care and Permobil Discuss the Importance of Seated Posture thumbnail VGM Wound Care and Permobil Discuss the Importance of Seated Posture In this episode of industry matters Director of Wound Care, Heather Trumm, talks with Stacey Mullis, Director of Clinical Marketing at Permobil, where “Every person has the right to have his or her disability compensated as far as possible by aids with the same technical standard as those we all use in our daily lives.” Heather and Stacy are going to dive right into dive into something that is often overlooked, and that is seated posture in wound care. Key Marketing Priorities for HME Providers in 2021 thumbnail Key Marketing Priorities for HME Providers in 2021 Now that 2020 is officially in the rearview mirror, it's time to get strategic in 2021 with resources, priorities, and investments. From a marketing perspective, healthcare delivery models have undoubtedly changed. Lindy Tentinger discusses key marketing priorities that can help your company achieve its business goals and set it up for continued success. CRT Telehealth Update from NCART thumbnail CRT Telehealth Update from NCART NCART and the CRT Remote Services Consortium announced their continued efforts to secure a permanent telehealth option for people with disabilities who require complex rehab technology (CRT).