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WARNING: Hackers can now control your smartphone or car with this one tool

Be it hardware or software, in today’s world, anything can easily be hacked. While the companies are trying their best to help secure their products.

However, there are many products out there that can still be hacked, because of outdated firmware, and nothing can be done about it.

While most of the hacks can easily be done with the help of internet connection, while others need physical access.

But now here’s something more advanced that no one could ever imagine, “hacking with sound waves”.

A team of researchers have experienced in on a weird type of hacking method that utilises sound waves to control almost anything from a smartphone to a medical device and a drone to possibly even a car.

The trick the researchers used to hack into the system was using the device’s accelerometers. What does the accelerometer do is that it connects with the smartphone or any gadget, track and sense motion, alerting the operating system about how fast and where the device is moving. By manipulating this chip, a hacker can take control of your smartphone or even your car.

According to Gizmodo, researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of South California managed to blast 20 different accelerometers from five different manufacturers with sound waves and malicious music files by using a simple speaker.
The speaker sent out resonant frequencies that tricked the target sensors and allowed the researchers to do what they wanted it to do.
 
Kevin Fu, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Michigan told that it is a sort of a ‘musical virus.’ 
“It’s like an opera singer who hits a particular note pitch and breaks a wine glass at a distance,” he comments.
A type of sonic cyber attack, sound waves manage to nudge the small amount of mass suspended on springs within accelerometers to its tune.
This movement is when the chip changes a capacitance and the device senses motion. Manipulating the frequency and amplitude within by sound waves, researchers can make the chip send out particular signals they need for hacking into the system. For example, they tried it on a Wi-Fi controlled toy racing car and made it change directions, speed, etc by simply blasting sound waves at the smartphone which was controlling it.

While researchers are presently stating that only a few accelerometers are presently vulnerable to such attacks, there may be many models and variants out there that could be attacked in the same manner.

Of the 20 manufacturers they have identified, some are from well-known brands such as Bosch, STMicroelectronics, InvernSense, Murata and Analog Devices.

This research will further stress manufacturers to secure their chips even further, but this can take time and could make future devices expensive.

 

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