Smart speakers have been all the technological rave this year, as more and more versions are emerging to assist their users with tasks they could’ve easily done themselves (but this is much cooler). Brands like Sonos and Bose have been high on holiday wishlists for many, but researchers and developers have discovered that your favorite new Christmas gift might come with some unexpected hiccups.
In a recent report, tech industry publication Wired says it may be possible to hack into your smart speaker through basic scanning tools via the user’s own supposedly secured wireless network. “The unfortunate reality is that these devices assume the network they’re sitting on is trusted, and we all should know better than that at this point,” Mark Nunnikhoven, a research director for Trend Micro, the Tokyo-based cybersecurity company that conducted the investigation, said in the article. “Anyone can go in and start controlling your speaker sounds.”
While it seems like these hacks are only able to control your speaker, they may also be able to access certain programs and apps connected to the device—such as Spotify and Pandora—which opens the door to potentially accessing other personal data of its users. This poses a bigger security risk for those who use the devices, especially those that store personal info through voice command such as the Amazon Echo or the Google Home. One can imagine that manufacturers such as Sonos and Bose are aware of these security fail-safes, and for the thousands of new owners of these smart speakers, one can hope that these loopholes are closed immediately.