Sonic Cyber Attack Shows Security Holes in Sensors Used by the Internet of Things

Sound waves could be used to hack into critical sensors in a broad array of technologies including smartphones, automobiles, medical devices and the Internet of Things, University of Michigan research shows.

The new work calls into question the longstanding computer science tenet that software can automatically trust hardware sensors, which feed autonomous systems with fundamental data they need to make decisions.

“The fundamental physics of the hardware allowed us to trick sensors into delivering a false reality to the microprocessor,” Fu said. “Our findings upend widely held assumptions about the security of the underlying hardware.

With a $5 speaker, University of Michigan researchers fooled hardware sensors called accelerometers in a way that gave the researchers access to other aspect of the system.

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