Has Siri just highlighted cyber-security weaknesses at the heart of the British government?
Is Siri the most useless of all the AI assistants? Well, objectively speaking, probably, but Siri’s lack of practical use can lull iPhone users into a false sense of security. Despite a lot of Softonic tutorials on mobile security, it is easy to forget that once activated, Siri is always listening.
Although it isn’t ideal to forget that your PHONE could be listening to everything you say, most of us can get away with the oversight. If you’re the Defense Secretary of the United Kingdom, however, there are a lot of things that you or the people around you might be saying that you don’t want to a hackable device to hear. In the UK Parliament yesterday, UK Secretary of Defense Gavin Williamson was interrupted by Siri trying to answer a query while he was talking about Syria. Siri is set to “always listening” on his phone. Let that sink in. Siri is listening to everything that UK Secretary of Defense is saying.
So just how vulnerable is Siri and, accordingly, all of the classified secrets that UK Secretary of Defense has to talk about on a daily basis?
Well, in September, Chinese researchers discovered a shocking backdoor into voice assistants from Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and yes, Appl,e too. Called DolphinAttack, the vulnerability plays on the fact that digital assistants can hear frequencies that lay outside the range of human hearing. This allows attackers to issue normal voice commands at such a high frequency that it is inaudible to human ears.