Hackers can silently access Siri and Google Now on your phone


Siri is keeping Apple Music non-subscribers in the dark.
Siri is keeping Apple Music non-subscribers in the dark.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Siri can be silently put to work against you, thanks to a new hack discovered by French security researchers that allows attackers to transmit orders to the digital assistant via a radio.

The hack also works on Google Now and utilizes the headphone cord as an antenna to convert electromagnetic waves into signals that register in iOS and Android as audio coming from the microphone. José Lopes Esteves and Chaouki Kasmie — the two French researchers that discovered the hack — wrote in their paper that hackers could use the attack to get Siri and Google Now to send the phone’s browser to a malware site, or send spam and phishing messages to friends.

“The sky is the limit here,” says Vincent Strubel, the director of their research group at ANSSI. “Everything you can do through the voice interface you can do remotely and discreetly through electromagnetic waves.”

Siri vs. Google Now: Who wins the AI cat fight?



Friday-Night-Fights-bug-2Every mobile platform now ships with its very own virtual assistant, and while they all offer a similar set of basic features, Google Now and Siri are way ahead of their rivals. Google Now knows what you want and when you want it, but Siri has sass and personality, and is about to get a whole lot better with the help of Proactive.

If you were to pit the two against each other in a virtual ring, which one would come out wearing the belt? Join us as we find out in this week’s Friday Night Fight between Cult of Android and Cult of Mac!

Facebook is working on a Siri rival with a difference


You know you're my favorite, Miss Moneypenny.
Photo: Eon Productions

Apple has Siri, Google has Google Now, Microsoft has Cortana, and soon Facebook may have the James Bond-inspired Moneypenny.

According to a new report, Facebook will introduce the assistant as part of its Facebook Messenger app, letting Facebook users set appointments, check the weather, or purchase products.

While that sounds relatively similar to the likes of Google Now and Siri, where Moneypenny will apparently differ is in the fact that it will connect users with real people to help with certain aspects of the research process.

Android M vs. iOS 9: A battle of the giants


Fight! Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac
Fight! Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Friday-Night-Fights-bug-2Google I/O and WWDC have been and gone, and Google and Apple have laid out the plans for their next major platform updates — Android M and iOS 9.

Now that we’ve had a chance to let those announcements sink in, it’s time for Cult of Android and Cult of Mac to battle over which is best in another Friday Night Fight. Let us help you decide which one will reign supreme when they roll out to the public this fall.

Hit list: All the apps and services Apple tried to kill at WWDC 2015

Tim Cook WWDC 2015
Apple's had some bold words for its competitors today.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Once again, Apple has shown its desire to be your go-to for everything you do in your life.

During its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote this morning, the iPhone maker talked up software updates, services and new functionalities aimed at making several of its competitors’ offerings redundant.

Here are the things Apple’s trying to take out with new stuff at WWDC 2015.