We all know that digital assistants can be fooled into responding to people and buying things you don't want or opening doors we'd rather stay shut--but only if someone is already in your house.
Not any more. Now researchers have found that they can get a laser to "talk" to your device. They can even be outside. How far away depends only on how big you want to make your laser.
I wonder exactly what is happening, physically. Slight changes in pressure due to heat created by the beam? Actual pressure of the photons on the membrane, like a solar sail? Something more esoteric? Sounds like it should be a pretty easy fix though, to protect the mic, and in the mean time, don't put it near a window.
This just smacks of technical countermeasures techniques, which have been well known and documented for many years and still used and you can easier purchase such devices, if you so wish.
This is not new, but we seem to have to remind ourselves about such things as a new era occurs, perhaps this just shows our length of tenure - it is rather like security awareness 101, just keep pouring out the message, as people simply forget these things can and do happen.
Computing UK also came out with a piece on the same subject too:
@mgormanJust basic physics and a good understanding of quantum theory will give you sufficient ammunition. This type of thing has been going on for years and years in different formats and has just evolved over time and technology processing. The future is looking very interesting indeed, and challenging due to many different avenues evolving.