‘Funtenna’ uses sound waves, radio to hack internet of things

A new hacking technique that uses sound and radio waves can siphon data from devices even without internet access. Showcased at the Black Hat security summit in Las Vegas, the ‘Funtenna’ hack has the potential to unravel the Internet of Things.

By uploading a malicious program to a device, the hackers can vibrate the physical prongs on general-purpose input/output circuits at a frequency of their choice. The resulting vibrations can be picked up by an AM radio antenna.

Billions of devices around the world are being networked into the so-called “Internet of Things,” but experts warn the connectivity is being driven by functionality, with little concern for security implications. Hackers have already succeeded in taking control of automobiles, airplane computer systems, missile batteries and medical hardware.