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Lasers can be used to hack voice-controlled devices, study finds

Laser pointers are great for taunting cats and inflicting irritation. But they're also quite effective at hacking Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant, researchers say - even from hundreds of feet away.

Microphones in smart devices translate sound into electrical signals, which communicate commands to the device. But as researchers at the University of Michigan and University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo have discovered, microphones will respond the same way to a focused light pointed directly at them. It's a surprising vulnerability that would allow an attacker to secretly take over many popular voice-controlled devices with nothing more than a $13.99 laser pointer and some solid aim.


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