Transcript for Flaw let Amazon Alexa record users without knowing
We are back now with those new concerns about smart speakers. Could they be ma nip lated to spy on you? ABC’s Paula Faris is here with an ear-opening story. Researchers found a weakness in Amazon’s Alexa That’s right, Michael. Good morning to you. Sign irsecurity experts, they found this vulnerability and the glitch was fixed before it hit the market but it was a troubling flaw. Alexa was capable of doing something she was not designed to do, eavesdrop. They’re some of the hottest tech gadgets on the market. Alexa, tell me a joke. Reporter: Smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa expected to sell more than 43 million units by the end of this year. Hi there. Reporter: But this morning researchers say they were able to find a flaw that could have let Alexa record a user without that user knowing it. Alexa typically stops recording after it fulfills a command. Alexa, where is the nearest jewelry store? Reporter: Take a look. Researchers at cybersecurity firm checkmarx say think discovered that flaw after using a calculator app it created. What do you want to calculate? 7 times 6. Reporter: Alexa kept recording after giving the answer. The result is 42. An unsuspecting user believes the session with Alexa has ended. We are still being recorded, but everything is uploaded to Amazon. It’s essentially to have an intruder in your home in the privacy of your home. Reporter: Checkmarx said it disclosed this to Amazon after it was discovered and before hackers had a chance to exploit it. Amazon tells ABC news they fixed the problem saying customer trust is important to us and we take security and privacy seriously. We have put mitigations in place for detecting this type of skill behavior and reject or suppress those skills when we do. But these tech experts say companies are facing a constant battle when it comes to cybersecurity. This type of eavesdropping tool or skill could have made it into the echo store or the skills store and that could be a concern. There’s always something that researchers haven’t thought of yet or a company hasn’t fully considered. What is ate chance of rain? So many own these smart speakers. One easy way to detect if Alexa is listening and recording, her blue light is on. Both Amazon and Google have both appied for patent applications and could monitor what you do and say without the machine being prompted. That’s right. They’ve applied for these to monitor what we do and say and infer our interests, maybe be able to target advertisers. Let’s say you cough and then — Michael, maybe you should — I’ll suggest this particular cold medicine to you or let’s say you’re wearing your coldplay shirt and recently searched it it would be suggested to you where and when you could see coldplay in concert. Wow. Wow. You like that? Or is that terrifying? That is a little too much. Too much. I don’t mind pumping it in myself. I don’t need you to do it for me. Somebody always watching, you guys, always watching. Why do you do your eyes like that? It looks a little creepy. I’m just being honest. Seriously, guys. Thank you so much you. Don’t own one. No, I don’t. Nope. I do. Watch out. Don’t cough. Don’t cough. Coming up has a mystery
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