Saturday 19 October 2019

Dutch hackers devise ways to take over Google Glass (update)

Dutch hackers have come up with a simple way to infiltrate and take over Google Glass, the wearable computer system with a headset that resembles an ordinary pair of glasses, according to the Volkskrant.

By taking over the glasses, outsiders can monitor what the user is looking at from a distance and make photos and films without them being aware of it. They could also glean pincodes and other confidential information.

Computer experts from Nijmegen IT company Masc and the accountancy group Deloitte, which has a computer security division, showed the Volkskrant how they could use a usb stick to implant code in the glasses which takes over control.

This could be done by getting someone to borrow the glasses for a moment – such as a pretty girl in a café, the paper says. They could then insert a mini usb stick in an guarded moment to insert the code.

Under observation

In another scenario malware could be spread using a wifi network or via a telephone app. The Glass system is only useable when attached to a phone.

Deloitte’s Thomas Bosboom told the Volkskrant it took a few pizzas and a dozen hackers to develop the scam. ‘We asked ourselves what was the worst case scenario and realised that would be following what the user is looking at,’ he said.

A spokesman for Google told the paper security is an issue with the glasses and that in new versions, the screen will be operated by a code, like smartphones. ‘The more feedback we get, the safer we can make the Glass ready for the wider launch later this year,’ he said.

Google Glass has been hacked before. Some hackers have used QR codes photographed by a Glass wearer to take over the system. Others have exploited security weaknesses in the Android software.

However, other experts told broadcaster Nos that the Glass system can only be taken over if people lend it to other people and exactly the same applies to lending your computer or phone to someone else, or leaving them unattended.

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