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What is a dolphin hack?
Dolphin attacks or dolphin hacks are a brand new type of a digital attack that uses your digital assistant like Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant to gain access to your smartphone and potentially steal your information. In this case, hackers can use ultrasonic commands to gain this access.
How do dolphin attacks work?
Every year our lives are becoming more and more integrated with the technology that we use. The latest devices in this trend are digital assistants. Many people have voiced concerns over security issues that come together with these assistants – there is a concern that they are always listening to you and collecting personal information. But did you know that hackers can also use these devices to steal your data? The issue is that in order to function, digital home assistants need to have access to a ton of personal information, which is precisely what hackers are after.
In a recent study, Chinese researchers discovered that when they translated human commands for digital assistants into ultrasonic sound (which dolphins can hear but humans can’t), the devices still detected the commands and responded to them. Interestingly, this attack is possible if a hacker has very simple equipment that costs about 3 dollars to acquire. Some of the devices that researchers were able to control using covert ultrasonic commands include iPhones 4 through 7 Plus, Macbook, iPad mini, Apple Watches, Amazon Echo and numerous Android phones. The scientists managed to use the commands to take pictures, make calls and visit various websites.
Are dolphin attacks common? How to prevent dolphin hacks?
Even though dolphin hacks are quite feasible, they are not very common at the moment. However, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself. First, you can disable the digital assistant on your phone or turn off the “wake word” feature so that the assistant can only be activated manually. You can also set it up to only respond to the sound of your voice if your phone offers that feature. Finally, you can try to program your phone to ignore commands at frequencies that humans can’t hear.