Researchers have uncovered a new attack that lets bad actors snoop in on homeowners’ private conversations – through their robot vacuums.
The vacuums, which utilize smart sensors in order to autonomously operate, have gained traction over the past few years. The attack, called “LidarPhone” by researchers, in particular targets vacuums with LiDAR sensors, as the name suggests. LiDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure distances to or from nearby objects. The technology helps vacuums navigate around obstacles on the floor while they clean.
The good news is that the attack is complex: Attackers would need to have already compromised the device itself (in their attack, researchers utilized a previously discovered attack on the vacuum cleaners). Additionally, attackers would need to be on the victim’s local network to launch the attack.