Hackers could now steal your voice and access your bank accounts

We’ve always liked the saying “Let your voice be heard.” Whether in singing high and dramatic notes, or when speaking out to someone, we always want our voices to be heard.

But what if hackers can now steal our voice to trace our identity and gain access to our bank accounts or use it for identity thefts?

You heard my voice right. Or rather, you’ve read it right. Researchers have revealed that hackers could steal your voice and use it to trick voice authentication systems.

Cyber criminals are constantly looking for new opportunities to gain access to personal data of anyone. And now, they’ve found a better way to do it. By just speaking in public (especially in a loud voice), or posting your videos online, you could already offer everything they need to use your identity and claim themselves as you.

Now, still not afraid of letting your voice be heard?

Researchers have discovered that voice-based user authentication systems are vulnerable to voice impersonation attacks. Hackers could be looking in any way to steal your voice and use it to carry out online theft.

The discoveries made by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, US include being able to penetrate automated and human voice verification systems by capturing speech and using a simple, off-the-shelf, voice-morphing tool. The study highlights how it could be used for access to bank accounts, identity theft or even to damage somebody’s reputation. It also uncovers how vulnerable we are to leaving our information without us knowing.

The director at UAB cited example situations where our voices could be traced and hacked, in any public places including restaurants and parks; also, activities like phone calls and uploading videos are no exception.

“People often leave traces of their voices in many different scenarios. They may talk out loud while socializing in restaurants, giving public presentations or making phone calls, or leave voice samples online.”

Hackers could fool any automated or human system by playing just a few minutes of voice samples captured by them through their close-by listening or eavesdropping of your public conversations with a recording device, performing cold calls, or scanning videos you may have posted to Youtube or any social media websites.

Even some governments which make use of voice authentication to gain access on their buildings may experience a national security threat if their way of access can be fooled by voice-morphing technology.


Here’s how a voice impersonation attack is done (Photo courtesy of UAB)

Sources: ibtimes.uk, UAB News