Hackers find exploitable vulnerabilities in Amazon Echo, turn one into a listening device


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/08/12/alexa-bob-carol.html




Disclaimer: the article on RetailDetail isn’t much longer than what you can see in the OneBox and links to another article on The Information which is paywalled.


Where do hackers get those really nice hoodies?



Echo and things like it always seemed creepy from the get-go. At least the boys in South Park did seem to find a use for them.


They turned a device designed for listening into a listening device? No way!


Ok, I’m slightly confused by how the article is phrased. Is a “speaker” being used as a listening device somehow? Or is “Alexa speaker” synecdoche for the whole device, and it’s actually a microphone on it being used that way?


It has a bunch of microphones. They probably found that calling it the Alexa Ear didn’t go over well.


That is hilarious!
And deeply discounted.
I wonder why? :joy:


Ah, ok, I didn’t realize “speaker” was actually the name of the device or device category. Thanks!


We refer to ours *shudders* as “the speaker” when talking about what a pain-in-the-ass it is to avoid activating it. We also called it “The Speaker” because it freaked my 3yo daughter out that we had brought something into the house that listened and responded. It didn’t work, she still won’t talk to it. She’s the smartest one in the house. Of course, we have a hard time getting its “attention” but no matter what my daughter says, it interprets it as “Alexa.” Makes me think a big part of their business model was having 3yos “accidentally” order things online.


Weren’t “evil [domestic workers]” planting bugs in analog telephones for decades, long before the Internet was a thing?


That was my first thought. Evil maids don’t need no stinking Echo to spy on you.


If they can turn the unit into a Bluetooth mic and speaker then I for one welcome our new hooded overlords.


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