YouTube Videos Could Be Used To Hack Your Phone…?


With advancement in technology, there has been a rise in cyber crime too. While social media does allow you to share stuff with people in different continents who really care, it also exposes you to people who care for your information, but for all the wrong reasons.

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn may make your life a lot easier but at the same time, they are also making you vulnerable to things that you’d want to keep yourself away from. When we reveal our personal information on these social platforms, we do not always think of its repurcussions. While it is good to believe that all your information is going to be used either to get you a job, or find a match mate, one must also not deny the possiblity of the same information being abstracted either to hack your account or misuse your data.


However, with increasing number of people viewing more and more videos on YouTube, hackers have now leveraged this platform to hack your account. All the cute videos about animals and babies that you have been watching because of increasing shares can make you go from awww to hawww. All of this could happen by using a simple voice recognition software on your phone. These distorted voice commands hidden in certain otherwise-innocent videos can carry out such malicious operations.

A team from the University of California, Berkeley, and Georgetown University have made it possible for the hackers to do this. They have developed the means to compromise a mobile device using hidden voice commands embedded within a YouTube video. The voice recognition software can makes it possible to hack devices. However, the hidden voice commands used by the attack are ‘unintelligible to human listeners but which are interpreted as commands by devices.’

salman khan

The device can be hacked when you are watching the YouTube video on your PC, laptop, TV, tablet or smartphone. The mangled voice in the surrounding can be picked by your smartphone if left open to listening to voice commands despite being locked, and thus tell your phone to open a URL that exposes it to malware.

According to Micah Sherr, professor at Georgetown University, voice recognition has taken off quickly on phones because of services provided by Google Now and Apple’s Siri, also making it easier to hack devices.


“It might not work every time but it’s a number’s game. If a million people watch a kitten video with a secret message embedded, 10,000 of them might have their phone nearby. If 5,000 of those load a URL with malware on it, you have 5,000 smartphones under an attacker’s control,” quoted Sherr as saying.

However, in order to protect users from falling prey to such mailicous acts, voice recognition developers are now trying to incorporate filters to differentiate between human and computer-generated sounds.

S : Being Indian