A new study from researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of South Carolina has found that accelerometers, the motion-sensing chips used in phones, tablets, computers, cars and medical equipment, can be hacked using sound waves. According to researchers and computer security scientists from the University of Michigan and University of South Carolina, accelerometers were demonstrated to be able to be manipulated using a “‘malicious’ music file.” They were able to add data to a FitBit counter to control a toy car, which shows that much more dangerous meddling can be utilized in devices of a much larger scale like self-driving cars.
Kevin Fu, one of the study’s authors and an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan, reveals to The New York Times: “It’s like the opera singer who hits the note to break a wine glass, only in our case, we can spell out words. You can think of it as a musical virus.” Of the 20 accelerometer chips from five different manufacturers, the scientists were able to hack 75% of the chips. Learn more about the study via the video above.