Saturday, February 03, 2007

Hackers exploit Vist'as voice recognition

Well, well, well. What do you know? It took until the release of Windows Vista, but they’re finally taking notice of assisstive technology.

Those involved in the world of AT would love for more people to take notice of what is out there and make use of it. Unfortunately, the “they” in this case is not good. The first reported exploit in the just-released Windows Vista operating system has been revealed –
Hackers exploit Vista’s voice recognition.

In the InfoWorld article linked above, the term “Shouthack” is used to identify the first reported break in the new premiere Microsoft operating system.

According to the article:
“Microsoft researchers are investigating the reports of a vulnerability that could allow an attacker to use the speech recognition feature to run malicious programs on Vista systems using prerecorded verbal commands, the company said in an e-mail statement.”

For the full details, read the entire InfoWorld article. It also gives insight on how to prevent execution of this malicious hack.

Voice Recognition has been a breakthrough that has provided great access to many for several years, most notably through Dragon’s top of the line program. It is actually sad that the first time such a useful feature is incorporated into the newest offering of the dominant operating system manufacturer and it is the first thing that gets exploited by hackers.

Hold on to your defenses and don’t panic. The first crack isn’t the end of voice recognition in Windows. It is just a new playground for the hackers to look at now that it is being deployed en mass. The developers must remain diligent in following the cracks and filling them in. As for the users, do your part and ensure that all steps are taken to alleviate the threats by keeping anti-virus programs current and not opening files from unknown sources.

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