Privacy News Online | Weekly Review: March 5, 2021

Privacy News Online | Weekly Review: March 5, 2021

A group of researchers from universities in Germany and the United States have done a privacy study on Alexa Skills.Read more: https://therecord.media/first-fully-weaponized-spectre-exploit-discovered-online/.Privacy News Online is brought to you by Private Internet Access, the world’s most trusted VPN service.

Indians are so lonely they said ‘I love you’ to Amazon’s Alexa 19,000 times a day in 2020; read more

Indians are so lonely they said ‘I love you’ to Amazon’s Alexa 19,000 times a day in 2020; read more

Led by Amazon Echo devices, the shipments of smart home speakers were expected to cross 7.5 lakh units in India by the end of 2020, which is an all-time high, according to market research firm techARC.

“Alexa, Stop Listening To Me Or I’ll Cut Your Ears Off”

“Alexa, Stop Listening To Me Or I’ll Cut Your Ears Off”

Yes, these devices all have software options for disabling their microphone arrays, but as [Andrew Peters] relates it, his concern is mainly to thwart exotic attacks on smart speakers, some of which, like laser-induced photoacoustic attacks, we’ve previously discussed.

Amazon Sidewalk shares your home WiFi network with other Amazon devices unless you opt out

Amazon Sidewalk shares your home WiFi network with other Amazon devices unless you opt out

Amazon Sidewalk turns your home’s Amazon Alexa device into a bridge device – a router that takes a chunk of your home’s WiFi bandwidth and gives it to neighboring “Sidewalk-enabled” devices such as the Amazon Echo and Amazon Ring devices.

Amazon faces a privacy backlash for its Sidewalk feature, which turns Alexa devices into neighborhood WiFi networks that owners have to opt out of

Amazon faces a privacy backlash for its Sidewalk feature, which turns Alexa devices into neighborhood WiFi networks that owners have to opt out of

Amazon customers are being automatically opted in to Sidewalk, a feature set to launch later this year that the company says will connect Alexa devices to nearby WiFi networks, even those owned by someone else.

Amazon's Software Is Malware

Amazon's Software Is Malware

Amazon Alexa collects a lot more information from users than is necessary for correct functioning (time, location, recordings made without a legitimate prompt), and sends it to Amazon's servers, which store it indefinitely.

Authors Executive Summary: "Google, the media patron. How the digital giant woos journalism"

Authors Executive Summary: "Google, the media patron. How the digital giant woos journalism"

How the digital giant woos journalism" 2020-10-19T15:31+02:00 Microsoft® Word 2016 2020-10-19T15:33:14+02:00 2020-10-19T15:33:14+02:00 Microsoft® Word 2016 uuid:acbb4f54-e971-ce40-b5c7-9829b47732b6 uuid:adfc3ac4-b54e-0d4e-bfa5-dec7d398f27f endstream endobj 180 0 obj <> endobj xref 0 2 0000000000 65535 f 0000449763 00000 n 179 2 0000449906 00000 n 0000453533 00000 n trailer <<924F6FB39B1942D288678289484053A3>]/Prev 449579>> startxref 453826 %%EOF 29 0 obj <>/MediaBox[0 0 595.32 841.92]/Parent 2 0 R/Resources<>/Font<>/ProcSet[/PDF/Text/ImageB/ImageC/ImageI]/XObject<>>>/StructParents 2/Tabs/S/Type/Page>> endobj 179 0 obj <>stream application/pdf Ingo Dachwitz/ Alexander Fanta Authors Executive Summary: "Google, the media patron.

Worried Alexa is spying on you? Edward Snowden’s head can help

Worried Alexa is spying on you? Edward Snowden’s head can help

Safwat – who says she’s not necessarily anti-Amazon, but wants to spark a conversation – created a 3D render of Snowden’s head based on publicly available imagery, and worked with a special effects company to create the bust.

Build Your Own Alexa With Raspberry Pi — CyberPunks.com

Build Your Own Alexa With Raspberry Pi — CyberPunks.com

The Raspberry Pi was created to run open source code on open source hardware and goddamn it, that’s what we’re going to do.For us, the easiest option was to download a customized Mycroft/Raspbian image file with the rather cute name of Picroft and flash it to the Pi’s MicroSD card.

Amazon Staff Are Listening To Alexa Conversations -- Here's What To Do

Amazon Staff Are Listening To Alexa Conversations -- Here's What To Do

But some people might be looking to throw away their device after it emerged that Amazon employs thousands of people around the world to listen to voice recordings captured in Echo users’ homes and offices.

Snowden criticises Amazon for hiring former NSA boss

Snowden criticises Amazon for hiring former NSA boss

image captionEdward Snowden (l) and General Keith Alexander (r)A former National Security Agency (NSA) chief who was in the post when the Edward Snowden scandal broke has joined Amazon's board as a director.Edin Omanovic, advocacy director at Privacy International, said Amazon's decision to hire Gen Alexander was deeply concerning.

Former NSA chief Keith Alexander has joined Amazon’s board of directors

Former NSA chief Keith Alexander has joined Amazon’s board of directors

A former director of the National Security Agency and the first commander of the US Cyber Command, Alexander served as the public face of US data collection during the Edward Snowden leaks, but he retired from public service in 2013.

Alexa hack granted attackers access to an Echo user's smart home network

Alexa hack granted attackers access to an Echo user's smart home network

A number of vulnerabilities have been revealed in Amazon's Alexa, highlighting the need for providers of smart home platforms, such as Apple's HomeKit, to maintain security as part of the service.

This device keeps Alexa and other voice assistants from snooping on you

This device keeps Alexa and other voice assistants from snooping on you

Researchers hack Siri, Alexa, and Google Home by shining lasers at themBesides detecting inadvertent audio transmissions, the device will spot virtually any activation of a voice assistant, including those that are malicious.

Uncovered: 1,000 phrases that incorrectly trigger Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant

Uncovered: 1,000 phrases that incorrectly trigger Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant

The findings demonstrate how common it is for dialog in TV shows and other sources to produce false triggers that cause the devices to turn on, sometimes sending nearby sounds to Amazon, Apple, Google, or other manufacturers.

Amazon's Alexa may have witnessed alleged Florida murder, authorities say

Amazon's Alexa may have witnessed alleged Florida murder, authorities say

Police in Florida believe recordings from a murder suspect's Amazon Echo may contain crucial information as they investigate an alleged argument at the man's home that ended in his girlfriend's death.

An insecure mess: How flawed JavaScript is turning web into a hacker's playground

An insecure mess: How flawed JavaScript is turning web into a hacker's playground

Overall, 87 percent of the Alexa sites and 46.5 percent of the .com sites use one of the 72 libraries.Additionally, 9.7 percent of the sites in the study use two or more vulnerable library versions.

Web Cache Deception Attacks are Still Around, Says New Research

Web Cache Deception Attacks are Still Around, Says New Research

Web Cache Deception Attacks are Still Around, Says New Research.Web Cache Deception attacks are still impacting many popular websites, says new research.Researchers noticed that 25 of the Alexa Top 5,000 websites were impacted by the Web Cache Deception attack.

Smart home developers raise concerns about Alexa and Google Assistant security

Smart home developers raise concerns about Alexa and Google Assistant security

"[Status update] data gives platforms [like Google and Amazon] a privileged position that no one manufacturer enjoys," said Brad Russell, the Research Director of smart home devices at research firm Parks Associates Inc. Tyler Lizenby/CNET While Amazon says it doesn't sell the data it gathers to third parties or uses it for targeted advertising, that data is still of tremendous value to the company.

Former Amazon executive says he switches off Alexa for "private moments"

Former Amazon executive says he switches off Alexa for "private moments"

In April last year, it was reported that Amazon employs thousands of contractors and full-time workers around the world to listen to voice recordings captured by Echo devices.

Is Alexa Spying on Us? Can we protect us from Alexa

Is Alexa Spying on Us? Can we protect us from Alexa

Yes and No. I mean on the one hand they’re very empowering and seductive but on the other hand Alexa is a double agent while working for us she’s actually more working for Amazon.

AOC is sounding the alarm about the rise of facial recognition: ‚This is some real-life „Black Mirror“ stuff‘

AOC is sounding the alarm about the rise of facial recognition: ‚This is some real-life „Black Mirror“ stuff‘

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is raising concerns about the spread of facial recognition, arguing that the technology will quickly become dystopic without regulation.„This is some real life Black Mirror stuff that we’re seeing here,“ Ocasio-Cortez said during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on facial recognition technology.

Why Amazon, Google and Apple want to record our assistant interactions

Why Amazon, Google and Apple want to record our assistant interactions

Every person who brings a new Echo speaker from Amazon into their home gets automatically recorded every time they utter the "Alexa" wake word."Users can opt in to help Siri improve by learning from audio samples of their requests," Apple says.

Wyze camera data leak: How to secure your account right now

Wyze camera data leak: How to secure your account right now

Passwords and payment information weren't included in the exposed database, but to be proactive and ensure user accounts remained private, Wyze signed everyone out and reset all third-party connections to its services, such as Alexa and Google Assistant.

Opinion | Think Alexa Is Too Creepy For Your Kitchen? Don’t Give It to Aunty Mary.

Opinion | Think Alexa Is Too Creepy For Your Kitchen? Don’t Give It to Aunty Mary.

That investigation, based on a dataset provided by sources alarmed by the unchecked power of the tracking industry, offered a look at more than 50 billion location pings from the phones of more than 12 million Americans across several major cities.

No, GDPR Can’t Be Blamed For Everything

No, GDPR Can’t Be Blamed For Everything

You’ve probably already opened the original article so I’ll just list the mentioned issues and explain why it’s not a GDPR problem per se.“Amazon sent 1,700 Alexa voice recordings to the wrong user following data request” — the allusion here is that GDPR is bad because it forced a company to make a mistake.

'Mind your own business, Alexa!' How to keep secrets from your voice assistant

'Mind your own business, Alexa!' How to keep secrets from your voice assistant

Call centre workers who check how helpful our voice assistants are say they hear private conversations and couples having sex.Call-centre workers for companies such as Apple, Amazon and Google are hired to check recordings made by voice assistants including Alexa and Siri for accuracy and helpfulness.

Alexa is coming to more everyday household devices like light switches and thermostats

Alexa is coming to more everyday household devices like light switches and thermostats

Amazon's integration of AVS into AWS IoT Core should lead to a rapid jump in the number of Alexa-powered consumer IoT devices.

Could Law Enforcement Get Data From Alexa?

Could Law Enforcement Get Data From Alexa?

This was achieved on the 2nd generation version of the Echo Dot by Jessica Hyde of Magnet Forensics in 2017 using a method know as In-System Programming or ISP and allowed for the full extraction of data from the flash storage of the device.

Hackers Can Silently Control Your Google Home, Alexa, Siri With Laser Light

Hackers Can Silently Control Your Google Home, Alexa, Siri With Laser Light

According to experiments done by a team of researchers from Japanese and Michigan Universities, a remote attacker standing at a distance of several meters away from a device can covertly trigger the attack by simply modulating the amplitude of laser light to produce an acoustic pressure wave.

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