Ask Amazon’s Alexa: ‘Are You Connected To The CIA?’ Answer: Silence

Amazon, the biggest retailer of web-connected microphones, works for the CIA. Should that bother you?

Ask Amazon Alexa Are You Connected To The CIA Answer SilenceFor the most part, suburban Maryland grandmother Pauline Cook just teased her Amazon Echo.

Before leaving for work in the morning, she might ask the Echo’s onboard AI, Alexa, for basic information: the weather, traffic updates.

But for the most part, her interaction with the smart home device—a Christmas gift to her husband—was limited to human-robot antagonism.

“Whenever I would come into the room, I would ask it crazy questions like ‘Why do you exist?’ or ‘Who are you?’ Those types of things,” she chuckles.

“Whatever crazy question I’d think of.”

On March 7, Cook was at work, where she manages SEO and social media for a nonprofit, when she saw the news about WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 release—the biggest leak of CIA documents in history. For Cook, the story was a big deal.

She had closely tracked the fallout surrounding WikiLeaks’ release of emails throughout the 2016 presidential election, but on top of that, the Vault 7 release concerned one of her favorite subjects.

“I’ve watched a lot of documentaries on things like the dark web, Tor, zero-day vulnerabilities … this is the type of stuff that interests me,” she says.

So, she wasn’t exactly surprised by what was found in this latest trove of documents: a startlingly vast cache of CIA cyberweapons, containing several hundred million lines of code, that were developed to hack into an array of common consumer web services, apps and devices.

Many of the cyberweapons were made possible by stockpiling the same kind of zero-day vulnerabilities—that is, holes in computer software that hackers can exploit quickly, with “zero days” before vendors are able to patch them—that Cook had learned about.

Others were made possible using Trojan horses: deceptive, malicious computer programs that dupe their victims into unwittingly disclosing private information or opening a backdoor to the perpetrator.

The most widely reported revelation was that the CIA had the capability to hack into iPhones and Android phones, taking control of the onboard microphones and cameras or intercepting messages and audio, using techniques that could preempt protective end-to-end encryption services like Signal, WhatsApp and Telegram.

One particular hack stuck out to Cook, though: a project the CIA code-named “Weeping Angel.” Like many of the project codenames that Vault 7 revealed—eight of which were named after Pokémon, such as “Dugtrio”—the Weeping Angel project was a callout to geek pop culture, and a particularly menacing one at that.

In Doctor Who, Weeping Angels are monsters that look like stone statues as long as you’re observing them. But as soon as you turn away, or even so much as blink, the Weeping Angel can move, feed off the energy of its victims and kill them.

It was a particularly fitting project name given the hack: an insidious exploit that allowed the CIA not only to listen to and record people through the web-connected voice control microphones in Samsung smart TVs, but to do so using a “fake-off mode” that could trick the consumer into thinking the TV was off even when, secretly, it was still on and listening.

“When I saw this, I decided that I was going to go home and see what Alexa had to say about it,” Cook says, since the Echo is essentially just a big microphone connected to the internet.

In a short video that would be retweeted thousands of times and rocket to the front page of Reddit, Cook, adopting the tone of an attorney, interrogates Alexa. “Alexa?” Cook asks, as the device’s iconic blue ring lights up to indicate that it’s listening, “would you lie to me?”

“I always try to tell the truth,” Alexa replies. “I’m not always right, but I would never intentionally lie to you or anyone else.”

“Alexa?” Cook continues, as the blue ring lights back up, “what is the CIA?”

“The United States Central Intelligence Agency—CIA,” Alexa responds.

“Alexa,” Cook says, “are you connected to the CIA?”

Rather than providing a response, or even the usual “Sorry, I don’t understand the question,” the Echo made a soft chiming noise and simply shut down.

“Alexa,” Cook tries, more firmly this time, as the ring lights back up. “Are you connected to the CIA?” Again, the chime, the blue light ring turning gray and silence.

Read full story here…


They recently updated it so whenever you ask if it’s connected to the CIA, it will respond “I work for amazon not CIA”.

However if you ask if amazon works for the CIA it will go silent again. Some people say it goes silent when it doesn’t know a response to a question. Or maybe the governments are spying on us…

Amazon and the CIA have a cozy business arrangement for cloud computing services, to the tune of $600 million. Could there be reciprocal services for eavesdropping on consumers using Amazon’s Alexa?

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

This Man One Ups Tesla By Inventing An Electric Car That Never Needs Charging

The concept of the electric car has been around for a very long time, and as with any other world revolutionizing technology, it’s taken...

The 10 Biggest Dangers Posed By Future Technology

It’s not easy predicting the future of technology. In the fifties it seemed a pretty much foregone conclusion that by 2015 we would all...

Did we discover “Alien technology” and reverse-engineer it?

A lot of people have wondered ever since the first reported UFO crash, if we had come into contact with Alien technology. Highly advanced technology...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

Complete List of BANKS Owned/Controlled by the Rothschild Family

What’s the significance of having a central bank within a country and why should you concern yourself, your family and colleagues? Central banks are illegally...

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

China Is Turning The Rainforest Into Cheap Furniture For The U.S.

Driven by American demand for cheap furniture, China has become the greatest importer of illegal timber. The...

This Man One Ups Tesla By Inventing An Electric Car That Never Needs Charging

The concept of the electric car has been around for a very long time, and as with any other world revolutionizing technology, it’s taken...

The world’s most energy efficient light bulb

Nanolight created by 3 University of Toronto graduates An eye-catching invention that produces as much light as a 100-watt incandescent bulb using just an eighth...

Wireless Energy Transmission On A Global Scale? Tesla Would Be Proud.

If only Nikola Tesla (inventor of AC or alternating current that is used world-wide, the fluorescent tube that we use to this day ) were...

This car is too fuel efficient to be sold in America

Volkswagen's New 300 MPG Car Is Not Allowed In America Because It's Too Efficient You won’t find the 300 MPG Volkswagen XL1 in an American...

In France it is Now ILLEGAL to Throw Out Edible Food

France is making it illegal for supermarkets to throw away edible food Considering that roughly one-third of the edible food in the world goes uneaten,...

UN calls first ever crisis talks on SUPERBUGS amid fears antibiotic-resistant diseases could spark economic and security meltdown

World leaders will gather this week for the first ever crisis talks on superbugs. The meeting at the UN this Wednesday will tackle the growing...

Newly Declassified CIA Report Exposes Over 25 Years Of U.S. Plans To Destabilize Syria

While the nearly seven-year-long sectarian “civil war” in Syria is widely believed to have started in 2011, revelations in recent years have shown that...

6 Scientifically Proven Features Men Find Attractive In Women… But…

I come across this interesting video about how science has found some interesting links between certain female characteristics and male attraction. It made me think...