On This Episode…
Do you use your voice as part of your security?  It is an option in some situations.  Listen in as Jack and I discuss what we learned from the two big security conferences held last week in Vegas.

These home assistants are becoming quite popular.  Today, Jack and I talk about a new skill for the Alexa home assistant.

Craig is putting up a new membership site (Yes, it is free, but you have to sign up)  On it will have all his special reports that he puts out and you will be the first to get them.

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Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.

Airing date: 08/20/2018

Audio Hacking and Alexa skill that may stop Burglars.

Craig Peterson[00:00:00] Hey, Happy Monday to everybody. Craig Peterson here. This morning, I spoke with Jack Heath about a couple of different things. We’ve got a new skill from Alexa. Do you have one of these things? You’ll probably end up seeing and maybe ultimately on Siri, or on one of the other devices like the Google home. But, this is used to protect your house that’s really quite cool and an innovative way to do it. Who thought the comedy writers over at Saturday Night Live, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, would be able to help protect your house. So, anyhow we have them coming up. We also have a couple of different things from the Black Hat conference and DEFCON. Three tips and trends that you really need to be watching when it comes to your security, and in this case audio hacking. Who knew that they were doing that? That’s a bit of a surprise, isn’t it.

[00:00:54] Here we go with Jack this morning. Joining us now the Autofair listener line with some tech talk and perspective, Craig Peterson. His show airs Saturday mornings, right after movers and shakers, he joins us on the Autofair listener lines. Good morning, Mr. Craig.

[00:01:08] Hey, good morning Jack. We’ve got a few interesting stories today. You have a unique voice. You recognize my voice. It’s a pretty typical thing. We all can use voice recognition to identify each other. Did you know that your bank is probably using that as well Jack when you call in? They’re picking up the voice.

[00:01:31] I do know that some of these scams I’ve heard of, and I am not talking about your bank.

[00:01:34] But, some people try and get your voice like they call your cell phone and say Is this Craig Peterson and you’ll say yes what’s your name. You’ll see Craig Peterson, Craig Peterson and they’ll take that word, Yes and your name and they’ll try and use it to prove certain things where the voice is kind of part of your security.

[00:01:49] Yeah, it is. And, in fact, what’s happening is the banks are using something called voice I.D. now, to verify customers. So, when you call in you know they go through that anti-fraud thing where they are trying to get your Social Security number. Parts of it and other things to verify you are who you say you are. Well, they’re also analyzing your voice while you’re doing that. So, the next time you call in that voice I.D. and voice print if you will can be used to help verify you. Well, we just have a couple of really big conferences out in Vegas, called Black Hat and Defcon, and these are the conferences where all of hacking techniques are discussed by the good guys and the bad guys. And, for cybercriminals now they are looking at how they can spoof some of these voice-based services.

[00:02:41] And, they really are providing quite an enticing target. So, we’re seeing some major changes now in how the bad guys are going to hack us. We’ve got mobile, mobile devices are moving up the list of the attack vectors.

[00:02:56] We’ve got the internet of vulnerable things, basically all of our TV’s and now refrigerators and stoves etc. They’re all getting hacked and audio hacking is now a thing. It’s really kind of a scary thing when you get right down to it because of some of these hacking techniques.

[00:03:14] You have no idea that you’ve been hacked until your bank accounts been emptied. We got another really interesting thing out there, Jack. You have one of those Alexa things in your house.

[00:03:27] I do not. I’m not saying other people don’t in the house, but I don’t, and I do not use it, but I know more and more people are talking to this thing all around the house. Hey, who won the Red Sox game? Or did they lose last night? Hey, you know what’s the weather today? And you got this thing talking to you. I tend to try not trying to become too dependent on technology.

[00:03:45] Well, they are handy. There’s no question about that, and we know about some of the problems they’ve had previously.

[00:03:51] David, are you, Hold on Craig. Are you like a subscriber? Yea, Google home. Google home.

[00:03:59] Yeah, Same basic thing. And, of course, we’re talking about these devices that go in your home or office wherever they might be that are constantly listening to what’s being said, And then they have an activation word that you use now and they wake up basically and they send the audio up to the internet where it is recorded and we have a number of cases of police department having subpoenaed the records those audio recordings of those devices are making. Well, there is a new skill Alexa has the ability to have new programs new apps if you will installed on them, And in the Alexa world, these are called skills. And, who is doing this skills are absolutely funny, they’re hilarious. Again, Jack to you and I probably over the years we’ve got those little light timers that you put on your lamps so that when you’re out on vacation it looks like someone’s home.

[00:04:55] Right. I’m sure yeah, you’ve done the right to light traps Yeah, yeah.

[00:04:59] Well, Here’s a new skill for your Alexa. It’s called away mode and instead of lights and maybe even some noises like leaving your TV or radio turned on. Now, you can keep your home safe by having the Alexa play these lengthy audio tracks. I like the real and completely ridiculous conversation. So, you watch your way mode and the Alexa is going to play one of these seven audio tracks that were put together by some comedy writers already Saturday Night Live. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and others. So, here’s some of the gems Jack that you can play in your home. Couple has a break up while trying to watch TV, Two average guys brainstorm what’s unique about them so they can start a podcast, an emergency PTA meeting to discuss memes, fidget spinner’s another teen fads, and more, Really, really funny including I love this one, a mom walking her daughter through Ikea assembly over the phone. So, these things are designed to make it sound like there’s a real conversation going on in your home. And, to keep the burglars out. Kind of an interesting twist on the Alexa technology. Now

[00:06:13] Just a quick question going back to what you were mentioning about you know wanting to subpoena some of the audio. Have they been successful in doing that? Or are Google and Alexa kind of being like Apple is, where they want to unlock a phone, they won’t give you any information, subpoena or no subpoena.

[00:06:29] No, they have been successful. Subpoenas have been served and they have been fulfilled. So, the company that Amazon for instance or Google have provided the audio. But what’s interesting is that the cases that I’m aware of David, and Jack have not actually yielded any real results. Because what they’re doing is they listen for the wake-up word. For instance, you might say Alexa or google home or whatever the word is you have programmed, they listen for that word and then the audio from a few seconds before that word for about 30 seconds, give or take, is sent up to the cloud. So, unless you’re having a fight and threatening to kill someone or whatever it might be and you’re asking, maybe you’re you know like the old Siri where can I hide a body. At the same time, there is nothing that stored up in the cloud from these devices. So, yeah they have honored them, but they really haven’t really yielded any results.

[00:07:29] Craig, make it a good Monday. Thank you very much, Craig Peterson, with some tech talk and tech perspective. Thanks, Craig. Thanks, Jack. All right some of the other stories that are trending.

[00:07:39] Quick reminder if you have any questions or comments send them directly to me 8 5 5 3 8 5 55 53. I had quite a few actually over the weekend. I was surprised for my Saturday show 8 5 5 3 8 5 55 53 and by the way, we’re trying to get the Saturday show if I’m pre-recording it, up so that it’s available on iTunes by Saturday, as well as Soundcloud etc. etc. Let me know what you think about that, too if you think that’s a great idea. Take care. Thanks again. Bye-bye.