Better safe than Siri: Security firm says Apple voice assistant is risky

Apple’s Siri feature may be good for some casual fun, but it’s bad for company security.

That’s according to F-Secure Vice President Maria Nordgren, who calls Apple’s iPhone and iPad voice assistant a major security liability for businesses, technology site V3 is reporting.

“Siri, it’s cute right? I like it, but if you ask it a question, the data is not stored on the iPhone — it goes to a data center in Oregon,” Nordgren said at a press conference. “If anyone was interested in that information you’re screwed,” Nordgren said.

With Siri data in hand, hackers could potentially gain access to information such as web searches, location data, and the names of contacts, she warned.

Companies have taken particular umbrage with Siri’s data storing features, which occur as the software processes queries and spits out answers. This information will also improve the speed and quality of  Siri’s results over time.

But while that’s good for Apple, it’s bad for any company that wants to keep its sensitive information to itself.

Just ask IBM, which had a sip of the anti-Siri Kool-Aid when it blocked the software on its network. Playing it safe, the company made the move out of fears that Apple or others could gain access to key company information. “We’re just extraordinarily conservative. It’s the nature of our business,”  IBM CTO Jeanette Horan told Technology Review last month.

We’ve reached out to F-Secure and Apple and will update this story when the companies respond.

Photo: Man kicking/Shutterstock