Amazon’s Alexa is now on a NASA spacecraft

A recent article from Bloomberg talks about how NASA’s Orion spacecraft has Amazon’s voice-activated smart assistant, Alexa, on board. This is very interesting from a cyber-attack perspective. The article discusses how certain communication features on the spacecraft, mostly utilized by humans, can be commanded through Alexa.

Previously, cyber attacks which modify applications controlled by Alexa have been found by researchers. These attacks can also playback recorded messages to Alexa etc. This raises concerns about whether this is a fun gimmick or does Alexa controls high-value communication utilities within the spacecraft. If this is indeed the case, it is a valid cause for concern.