Tuesday, November 22, 2016

New Malware Turns Headphones into Makeshift Microphones to Record Your Conversations

Mark Zuckerberg made headlines earlier this year for tapping his webcam and microphone. While he forgot the security 101 of not reusing old passwords, the Facebook CEO was definitely paranoid of someone trying to spy on him more than someone hacking his LinkedIn or Pinterest accounts.
Spying makes everyone uncomfortable. Are those so-called IoT devices really surveilling on you? Should you tape up your webcam and microphone slot? The paranoia would see no end because there’s no end to the lengths an attacker could go to spy on their targets. Now, a group of Israeli researchers at Ben Gurion University have given us yet another reason to freak out with malware that converts your headphones into microphones that can record your conversations.
Researchers demonstrated the hack in a video, using a malware they are calling “Speak(a)r” to hijack a computer to record audio, even when the target device’s microphone has been disabled or entirely removed. This malware tweaks the speakers in the earbuds to turn them into makeshift microphones, covertly listening to you.

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