(The following piece is from Stephen Cobb, senior researcher at the San Diego office of ESET, an international security firm.)
First, a warning: Please think twice before reading this article out loud.
Why? You are about to enter the world of voice-aware technology. I’m thinking mainly of the Echo devices that power Amazon’s Alexa service, but the warning could also apply to other products, like Google Home, over even digital toys like CloudPets and My Friend Kayla.
All of these Internet-connected devices respond in some way to the human voice. Such things can be fun. For example, with an Echo in your office you can turn on your desk fan by saying “Alexa, turn on my fan.”
You can also have Alexa play music, order products, and a whole lot more. But this technology has also sparked some controversy and concern, as I can attest from my own experiences, which include buying an Echo Dot, putting it in our living room, but then removing it – at my wife’s request.
Many people decide to buy digital devices because they’ve seen the ads for them or because their friends have one. I’m a little different — I buy them because I feel driven to answer the question that has dogged human invention since homes were caves and someone tried bringing fire inside: what could possibly go wrong? This question will be familiar to anyone in the same profession as me: cybersecurity.
One definition of cybersecurity is: the protection of all things digital so that people can enjoy them to their full…
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