Researchers have discovered a new type of attack that lets hackers snoop in on homeowners’ private conversations with the help of their robot vacuums.

Researchers called this attack “LidarPhone” because it operates through the vacuum cleaner’s sensors. Used for mapping the house, the LiDAR sensors (Light Detection and Ranging – that use light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure distances to or from nearby objects and avoid the obstacles) can also be repurposed to detect acoustic signals with a corrupted device. While connected to the house’s local network, it allows the attackers to eavesdrop on private conversations in the target’s home. The vacuums can distinguish the acoustic signals from any room and process the raw signal to extract information.

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