Laser-Based Audio Injection on Voice-Controllable Systems

Light Commands is a vulnerability of MEMS microphones that allows attackers to remotely inject inaudible and invisible commands into voice assistants, such as Google assistant, Amazon Alexa, Facebook Portal, and Apple Siri using light.

In our paper we demonstrate this effect, successfully using light to inject malicious commands into several voice controlled devices such as smart speakers, tablets, and phones across large distances and through glass windows.

The implications of injecting unauthorized voice commands vary in severity based on the type of commands that can be executed through voice. As an example, in our paper we show how an attacker can use light-injected voice commands to unlock the victim's smart-lock protected home doors, or even locate, unlock and start various vehicles.

To appear in USENIX Security Symposium 2020

Read the Paper Cite

  title={Light Commands: Laser-Based Audio Injection Attacks on Voice-Controllable Systems},
  author={Sugawara, Takeshi and Cyr, Benjamin and Rampazzi, Sara and Genkin, Daniel and Fu, Kevin},
  booktitle={29th {USENIX} Security Symposium ({USENIX} Security 20)},

See Light Commands in Action




We thank John Nees for advice on laser operation and laser optics. This research was funded by JSPS KAKENHI Grant #JP18K18047 and #JP18KK0312, by DARPA and AFRL under contracts FA8750-19-C-0531 and HR001120C0087, by NSF under grants CNS-1954712 and CNS-2031077, gifts from Intel, AMD, and Analog Devices, and an award from MCity at the University of Michigan.