May 17, 2020

Opternative introduces voice-activated digital eye exams for smartphones

Opernative
Google
Microsoft
IBM
Sophie Chapman
1 min
Opernative worked with Google, Microsoft, and IBM
The Chicago-based online eye examination firm, Opternative, has announced the launch of a voice-activated eye exam for smartphones.

Prior to the launch...

The Chicago-based online eye examination firm, Opternative, has announced the launch of a voice-activated eye exam for smartphones.

Prior to the launch of the latest exam, the firm’s initial test required the use of both a computer and smartphone.

“To build upon our vision of making eye care available to anyone, anywhere, anytime, we built the first web-based, conversational test that can be taken solely on a mobile browser,” stated Ayo Jimoh, Chief Technology Officer of Opternative.

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“The technology helps elevate and increase access to vision care for patients across the globe.”

Google, IBM Watson, and Microsoft designed the voice recognition software used in the test, which allows users to renew prescriptions from their device despite any changes in the prescription.

The voice-recognition technology allows users to complete the eye test in under 15 minutes through its ability to easily and efficiently understand the patient’s voice.

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Jun 17, 2021

Peloton vulnerable to cyber attacks, McAfee research finds

cyberattack
fitness
Cybersecurity
verification
2 min
​​​​​​​Software security experts McAfee discovered exercise bikes by Peloton are vulnerable to cyber attacks, which the company have since resolved 

Peloton, the popular exercise bikes, were found to be vulnerable to cyber attacks in the latest research from McAfee. 

Peloton is a brand of electric bikes that combines high end exercise equipment with cutting-edge technology. Its products use wi fi to connect to a large tablet that interfaces with the components of the exercise device, and provides an easy way for physical activity enthusiasts to attend virtual workout classes over the internet several times a week.

Peloton has garnered attention recently around the privacy and security of its products. So McAfee decided to take a look for themselves and purchased a Peloton Bike+.

The problem

Researchers looked at the Android devices and uncovered a vulnerability  that could allow an attacker with either physical access to the Bike+ or access during any point in the supply chain to gain to hack into the bike’s tablet, including the camera, microphone and personal data. 

For the person using it there would be no indication the Bike+ has been tampered with, potentially putting Peloton’s 16.7 million users at risk.  

The flaw was found in the Android Verified Boot (AVB) process. McAfee researchers were able to bypass the Android Verified Boot process, which normally verifies all code and data before booting. They were then able to get the device to boot bypassing this step. 

This could potentially lead to the Android OS being compromised by an attacker who is physically present. Even worse, the attacker could boot up the Peloton with a modified credential to gain privileges, granting them access to the bike remotely. 

As the attacker never has to unlock the device to boot it up, there would be no trace of their access on the device. This type of attack could also happen at any point from construction to warehouse to delivery, by installing a backdoor into the Android tablet without the user ever knowing. 

The solution

Given the simplicity and criticality of the flaw, McAfee informed Peloton while auditing was ongoing. The vendor was sent full details,  and shortly after, Peloton confirmed the issue and released a fix for it. 

Further conversations between McAfee and  Peloton confirmed that this vulnerability had also been present on the Peloton Tread exercise equipment. 

Peloton’s Head of Global Information Security Adrian Stone, commented on the research: “This vulnerability reported by McAfee would require direct, physical access to a Peloton Bike+ or Tread. Like with any connected device in the home, if an attacker is able to gain physical access to it, additional physical controls and safeguards become increasingly important.

"To keep our members safe, we acted quickly and in coordination with McAfee. We pushed a mandatory update in early June and every device with the update installed is protected from this issue.”

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