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Using Sound Waves to Hack a Phone 

CSE Associate Professor Kevin Fu’s work divulging false claims made by a high-profile medical device security company was covered in The Washington Post and the New York Times.


Excerpt From Original Article:

Sound waves could be used to hack into critical sensors used in broad array of technologies including smartphones, automobiles, medical devices and the Internet of Things, Michigan Engineering research shows.

The work calls into question the longstanding computer science tenet that software can automatically trust hardware sensors, which feed autonomous systems with fundamental data they need to make decisions.

The inertial sensors involved in this research are known as capacitive MEMS accelerometers. They measure the rate of change in an object’s speed in three dimensions. Embedded into the circuits of airplanes, cars, trucks, medical devices, smartphones, and even emerging satellites, they gather information from the outside world and pass it on to decision-making components on the fly. Accelerometers help airplanes navigate, tell auto safety systems when to deploy and keep your smartphone screen properly oriented, to name just a few of their jobs.

But it turns out they can be tricked.

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