[Webinar] – Security & Privacy for Alexa, Siri, and Cortana by Dr. Michaela Iorga, Program Director at NIST


Security & Privacy for Alexa, Siri, and Cortana

Presented By Michaela Iorga, PhD

Director of ITL SURF Program at NIST, Co-Chair at Security & Forensic Science NIST Cloud WGs

Monday, July 2, 2018           6:00 PM

The Yin-Yang of the Intelligent Virtual Assistants

Intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) have opened up a new world of convenience and entertainment. Waking up in the morning and speaking a simple question for

What is my schedule? Or, how is the weather? Or, completing your shopping list.

is a game changer with good and bad outcomes.

In January 2017, a 6-year-old girl asked Alexa to play house with her and to get her a house. Alexa reliably delivered a very expensive doll house with cookies. The San Diego TV anchor, who merely reported on the girl’s story, activated Alexa-enabled devices that were listening to the news and flooded San Diego with doll houses.

Gartner predicts that the IVA market will increase to over 2.1 billion devices by 2020. However, it appears that as we surround ourselves with more and more IVA devices, more and more news reports are delivering stories that are raising concerns regarding the reliability and trustworthiness of such IVAs. This presentation will provide a brief history of virtual assistants, discuss foundational architectures, and note security & privacy concerns during normal operations and as a result of several known malicious attacks.

Dr. Michaela Iorga earned her PhD in Engineering at Duke University and is in the Computer Security Division (CSD) at NIST. She serves as co-chair of the agency’s Cloud Computing Forensic Science Working Group and also as co-chair at their Cloud Computing Security Working Group. In addition, she is the senior security technical lead for cloud computing for CSD as well as the Director for the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) for NIST’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program.

Dr. Iorga works with government, academic and industrial organizations to develop cybersecurity guidelines and standards as well as to promote innovation and competition. She has held consulting roles in both public and private sectors and has experience in information security and assurance, risk assessment, cloud and mobile ad hoc networks, identity and credential management, security architecture development and cyberspace privacy protection. Her current research work focuses on cloud computing security, privacy, and forensic issues.

Dr. Michaela Iorga has a related paper at: https://ws680.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=923459

Connecting to the online Webinar:

  1. Go to: www.readytalk.com
  2. Click the Join Meeting button in the UPPER RIGHT of the screen
  3. Enter the Access Code 3387748 then click the Join Meeting button that is UNDER that field

For audio by phone:

  1. Dial:   866-819-5964
  2. Passcode:   157533 200754

Registration Link:  https://tinyurl.com/issa-nova-2018jul2

Actual link is https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/d064b7d91d874208ae4b68d63065c460


  1. This presentation by Dr. Michaela Iorga was originally scheduled as an in-person presentation at our Thursday June 21st chapter meeting. Dr. Iorga was unable to attend due to a car failure on a long trip to the meeting. The reason for the car problem was quite unusual: Her car’s cables had been chewed and cut by a nesting squirrel and its family of baby squirrels!
  2. The substitute speech on Thursday June 21st was given by co-presenters Vincent Ritts & Joseph Mullins, highly experienced General Dynamics subject matter experts. Their presentation title was “Security and Connectivity of the Internet of Things (IOT)”. It was well-received by the audience.
  3. We plan on recording this webinar and making it available for playback by Members.