Amr Alanwar, Bharathan Balaji, Yuan Tian, Shuo Yang, Mani Srivastava

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations


Voice controlled interactive smart speakers, such as Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Apple HomePod are becoming commonplace in today’s homes. These devices listen continually for the user commands, that are triggered by special keywords, such as "Alexa" and "Hey Siri". Recent research has shown that these devices are vulnerable to attacks through malicious voice commands from nearby devices. The commands can be sent easily during unoccupied periods, so that the user may be unaware of such attacks. We present EchoSafe, a user-friendly sonar-based defense against these attacks. When the user sends a critical command to the smart speaker, EchoSafe sends an audio pulse followed by post processing to determine if the user is present in the room. We can detect the user’s presence during critical commands with 93.13% accuracy, and our solution can be extended to defend against other attack scenarios, as well.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 1st ACM Workshop on the Internet of Safe Things
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781450355452
StatePublished - Nov 5 2017
Externally publishedYes


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