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Security Expert Received $107,500 for Reporting Google Home Bug

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Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf is an aspiring Journalist and Health law expert with a special focus on technology innovations. He is a writer at Right for Education, Libertist Centre for Education, Qwenu, and Editor at Gamji Press, UDUS.

Matt Kunze, a security research expert, has been reported to have received a total sum of 107,500 US dollars for reporting a critical Google Home bug. IT House reported today that Matt Kunze reported a serious vulnerability of Google Home to Google last year and recently received a high bounty of US$107,500 from Google.

Back in 2021, it was discovered that the Google Home smart speaker has a vulnerability. Attackers can activate the microphone to listen in on user chats and install a backdoor account for remote control using this vulnerability. Earlier this week, Kunz revealed all the technical information on the vulnerability and its potential exploits.

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Kunz discovered the local HTTP API port for Google Home while using Nmap. He thus configured a proxy to record encrypted HTTPS traffic in the hopes of stealing user authorization tokens.

The researchers found that adding a new user to a target device involves two steps and calls on the local API of the device, the device name, and a certificate. They can submit a link request to a Google server using this information.

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What’s more concerning is that the researchers discovered a way to misuse the “call [phone number]” command by incorporating it into a malicious program that would turn on a microphone at a specific time, call the attacker’s number, and provide a live microphone feed.

In March 2021, Kunz supplied a PoC and further information after learning about the problems in January 2021. In April 2021, Google corrected everything.

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