April 24th, 2014

Vista speech commands hack

I thought this was a pretty clever hack. Windows Vista apparently has a speech command feature where you can speak commands that are to be executed by your computer. The idea is to have a webpage that plays an audio file of commands to download a remote file and execute it.

George Ou went off to research the concept and, at the risk of spoiling the surprise, here is the result in George’s fine words:

“I recorded a sound file that would engage speech command on Vista, then engaged the start button, and then I asked for the command prompt. When I played back the sound file with the speakers turned up loud, it actually engaged the speech command system and fired up the start menu. I had to try a few more times to get the audio recording quality high enough to get the exact commands I wanted but the shocking thing is that it worked!”

3 Responses to 'Vista speech commands hack'

  1. 1Anonymous
    February 2nd, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    root the moon

  2. 2Tsaukpaetra
    June 25th, 2007 at 1:15 am

    Only works if Speech Recognition is actively working, the microphone is un-tuned to eliminate feedback, the audio coming from the speakers is being fed into the microphone, and the computer isn’t “trained” to a user’s voice.

    Wouldn’t it be easier to just hijack the browser? You wouldn’t be able to do anything useful if UAC is on, and even if you managed to start a command prompt, do you think you could actually DO anything before the user went, “OMG Someone’s talking to my computer!” and then just exit the web page?

    Just some thoughts. No biggie.

  3. 3Pete
    October 16th, 2007 at 9:54 am

    I would say about 75% of pc users leave their computer’s on all day processing or downloading things with their speakers left on and their mic’s (if they have one) plugged in. I know I do… I mean who shuts their computer off nowadays. I do sometimes but for the most part it’s on downloading or encoding video all day and night.
    I don’t sit in front of it watching it process things for hours on end, I just set it and go.

    Microsoft says they don’t think pc users will be out of the room when an attack hits, MS would like to assume that us pc users are losers who never leave our computer’s.

    I estimate what with the now very low cost of pc surround sound speakers that more than 50% of new pc buyers who buy vista are getting surround sound to meet with the next gen feeling of having a new pc. There goes MS’s argument about mic/speaker placement what with “clear sound all around”.

    It would also be a safe bet to assume people are using microphones that weren’t purchased at a 99 cents store. It is fact that you can plug any head phones or speaker into a microphone jack and record clear audio. (Everything must go both ways,
    you can also plug a a mic into the speaker and hear sound out of the mic, a tv is also a camera and so on)
    A normal cheap mic that comes with a pc records very clearly.

    It would be very cool to be able to use this voice function, but alot of us are now to paranoid to turn it on.

    It would have been gold if MS made it NOT able to delete files… that’s an important function that should NEVER be voice activated. I mean imagine your having a conversation with someone in the room and your pc deletes your important files cause you said something in conversation.

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