Robot touching human finger

The Remaining Security Issues

The Risks of “VPA Unfiltering”:

As described in the previous blogs, it is the hope of the major Virtual Personal Assistant vendors that their product will help automate our lifestyle daily, especially when it comes to online shopping.  As the technology further evolves, Siri or Cortana will be able to pick the exact products we want, based on previous purchasing behavior.  This concept is known as “VPA Filtering”. But, once retail companies start to fully realize just how powerful the Virtual Personal Assistant can be for pushing ads and other product solicitations, there is a strong fear that a “kickback” deal could be reached with the VPA vendors.  So, for instance, the major retailers could offer a financial incentive to the makers of Siri and Cortana to do away with the mathematical algorithms which comprise the techniques of VPA Filtering and offer them a certain percentage of the revenue for their products which are advertised to customers on their Smartphone and purchased by the VPA.  If this were to become a reality, this would then become known as “VPA Unfiltering”.  Although this will be viewed as a major inconvenience and a sheer invasion of privacy, there are real Security risks associated with this as well.  For example, without any filters put into place, the threats of Adware attacks become greatly magnified, and Siri or Cortana could very well make unwanted purchases with unauthorized online vendors. As a result of the latter, another real threat is that financial information and data could be easily and unknowingly given away to a malicious third party.

The remote control of Siri or Cortana:

The way that technology is now, the major Virtual Personal Assistants cannot discriminate between voices of the end users.  In other words, a person can easily talk into an iPhone or a Windows Mobile device that does not belong to them and still have an effective conversation with Siri or Cortana.  Obviously, this is a huge Security risk as well, and the only way for them to “know” who the authorized end user is through using a Biometric technology known specifically as “Voice Recognition”.  But, in conjunction with this, Siri or Cortana can literally have a conversation from either 10 feet or 10 inches away, there is no specific range in which a conversation can be had, as long as it is clear audible.  This too is also a grave Security risk, which in fact, has been proven to be so by Security researchers at ANSSI, a French based Government agency.  This simulated attack makes use of radio waves in order to covertly transmit voice generated commands to just about any brand of Smartphone that has Siri or Cortana installed onto it.  In these instances, the earbuds can be literally used as an antenna, in which the electromagnetic waves can be easily converted over into electrical signals.  The latter appears as discernable audio to the iOS, Android, or Windows 10 Mobile Operating Systems, coming straight from the microphone of the end user.  The end result of this is that a Cyber attacker could very easily dictate commands to Siri or Cortana without uttering even one spoken word from a very far and remote distance.  There are no limitations as to how many Smartphones can be infected in this manner, it can from as few as 5 to as many as even 100.


Our next blog will review some security practices that you can use for your VPA.

28 thoughts on “Virtual Personal Assistant – Pt. 7

  1. A Computer Company that takes up the use of VPAs should be aware of the risks of VPA unfiltering. VPA unfiltering is a huge privacy and security risk.

  2. It is a good idea for the IT Service & Support teams within a company to bring its workers up to date with the risks associated with Siri or Cortana, especially their risk of being remotely controlled. A lot of people jump into VPAs without fully understanding them.

  3. Part of the IT Services that should be offered in organizations that use VPAs should include making the users aware of various ways they can make their use of the VPAs more secure and less prone to hacking. This way we can have far fewer incidents of security breaches.

  4. I would generally recommend doing a bit of IT Consulting before starting to use VPAs. It’s always a good idea to know what you are getting into and the risks involved.

  5. Getting assistance from a Los Angeles MSP like Be Structured can prove to be helpful when looking to adopt the usage of VPAs for your company. They will help implement it in the safest most secure way possible.

  6. You can believe in this Los Angeles IT Services team. If you really need a company to work with concerning your GPA technology. It just the best to handle it.

  7. Again I will say that going virtual is indeed the future. So until that time comes for now any Computer Company should just solve issues without relying on such tech. It needs to be both secured and stable if it is gonna be used at a daily basis.

  8. New solutions such as Virtual Personal Assistants always opens up new problems, which is in this case the remote control of Siri/Cortana. Thankfully, IT services in the LA area are working together in order to face this threat and hopefully have a solution for it in the near future.

  9. The only way to install normalcy when it comes to IT issues is using a good VPS that has been put together by awesome IT Service & Support providers. It will be cost-effective in the long run.

  10. Knowing that VPA can automate our lives is music to my ear but I don’t just feel comfortable using it..I think its way too risky..i guess i need Los Angeles MSP to enlighten me more

  11. Having a secured IT Service Support, we all know that Be Structured is the group to call. I’ve always wondered if using Siri or Cortana is secured or not. Just by reading the contents, we all know where this is going.

  12. Concerning VPAs, another real threat is that financial information and data could be easily and unknowingly given away to a malicious third party. Get yourself yhe best Professional to help you handle this at Los Angeles IT Consulting. Thanks Be Structured Technology Group.

  13. Thanks for explaining in detail the risks related to VPA. Be Structured is doing a great job and helping many companies regarding IT services in the LA area

  14. Any Computer Company that chooses to take up VPAs should be fully aware of the risks posed by VPA unfiltering. Being informed on the same can affect their decision to use VPAs or not.

  15. IT Outsourcing in Los Angeles can provide a good and stress free way to adopt VPAs in the most secure way possible. Through outsourcing the professionals can always help you avoid the dangerous VPAs.

  16. VPAs have huge security vulnerabilities such as VPA unfiltering and being remote controlled. It is for this reason that it is very important to do IT Consulting before choosing to use them in the long term.

  17. IT services in the LA area should be able to include helping businesses on the best way to adopt VPAs without putting much of their organization in a security risk. VPAs are still to risky for widespread adoption in my opinion.

  18. A Los Angeles Managed Service Provider such as Be Structured is the best team to consult before using VPAs. They are aware of all the risks involved and would provide the best advice.

  19. I agree with the notion that we may have to hold up on implementing this at a global level. Not only it is risky but can be exploited. IT Consulting must practice if we are to be ready in the future.

  20. I agree with you on this, people should start using Biometric technology which is Voice Recognition to secure their VPAs. If need be a good Computer Company like the company that owned this page can be contacted.

  21. When it comes to online shopping security shouldn’t be compromised and so it should be applied too when thinking to use A VPAs. If this need arises using Los Angeles Managed Service Provider would be to one’s advantage because it will be the best of service provision.

  22. Be Structured Technology gives the best sensitization when it comes to IT world. For a wonderful VPAs, Los Angeles IT Support team are on ground to assist you!

  23. The use of VPAs can pose a great threat to the operations of a given Computer Company. That’s why IBM specifically banned their employees from using Siri for work related activities.

  24. IT Outsourcing in Los Angeles can provide a good way to enjoy the services of VPAs without taking on all the risks associated with them. The professionals can always advice on the best way to use VPAs without putting your security at risk.

  25. Virtual Personal assistants should not be adopted before doing a bit of IT Consulting. One should be able to know what exactly they are getting into first.

  26. Working with a Los Angeles Managed Service Provider like Be Structured is a sure way to ensure that your company is not getting into a raw deal when adopting a VPA. I highly recommend this option especially for companies that are not very IT savvy.

  27. I am currently just a home user having a virtual assistant might be too much for me but, I guess it is now becoming a thing as we move to the future. IT Service Support are vital. Virtual or not it still needs and will always need human hands.

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