Sound waves can be utilized for getting your way into critical sensors embedded in a wide array of technologies like automobiles, Internet of Things, smartphones, and medical devices. A team of researchers working in the University of Michigan recently demonstrated this fact. The new research looks into the longstanding computer science tenet that allows the software to trust hardware sensors automatically, this provides the autonomous systems with the basic data that is needed to take decision. The inertial sensors included in this research are called Capacitive Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) accelerometers that scale the rate of alteration in speed of an object in three dimensions.
It seems that these can be tricked easily. A team led by an associate professor of computer engineering and science from U-M, Kevin Fu, used some accurately tuned acoustic tones that could deceive 15 different kind of accelerometers for registering movement that never occurred. The approach worked as a backdoor in these devices, allowing the researchers to take care of other faces of the system Fu adds, “The fundamental physics of the hardware allowed us to trick sensors into delivering a false reality to the microprocessor. Our findings upend widely held assumptions about the security of the underlying hardware. If you look through the lens of computer science, you won’t see this security problem. If you look through the lens of materials science, you won’t see this security problem. Only when looking through both lenses at the same time can one see these vulnerabilities?”