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Study shows how sound waves can hack phones

Mar 15, 2017, 8:03 AM EDT

The researchers at the University of Michigan recently carried out an experiment to show that sound waves can deceive a phone’s sensing component, the accelerometer, compromising the security and reliability of the gadget. According to the study, a hacker can direct audio tones of a certain frequency to destroy a phone’s accelerometer or even prompting to behave strangely.

Tech company Fitbit, however, played down the revelation as “a way to game the system,” writes CNET. Fitbit claimed that the attack is no threat to user information while reassuring that the company would continue to devise solutions to eliminate such behavior.

The security loophole, spotted in over 10 commercial brands from five chip makers, may appear minor but it signals broader risks that accompany technology driving our everyday life, notes The New York Times. Researchers admit this is not major flaw while adding describing it as a window into unexpected challenges that result from analog-digital interaction in our devices. 

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