What’s New in Software Engineering
Recent research has shown that using computers is not that safe after all. There is a malware that transforms a computer into an eavesdropping device without the necessity for a microphone. The malware according to the study conducted by the University of the Negev, creeps into the PC and configures the PC settings to enable the speakers to record what the user is saying.
In a recent article on ‘SPEAKER,’ the researchers demonstrated how the PC is vulnerable to these attacks and how to easily exploit commonly utilizable technology.
How it Works
The malware operates on the fact that many earphones, headphones, and speakers are in many ways built like microphones, hence taking advantage to reprogram the features from output to input without the user’s knowledge, which could be a hot spot for hackers to attack.
The demonstration about the malware shows how easy it is to gain intelligence from unsuspecting user’s earphones several meters away. It’s in this light that developers like Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark, taped his microphone and webcam although it does not guarantee safety since one cannot tape all the speakers.
The Best Defense
The recommended best software countermeasure for this malware involves completely disabling the audio jack hardware or using an HD audio driver to warn users when their microphones get accessed. Developers could also come up with a strict jacking policy in the industry. There is also the need to develop another anti-malware and intrusion program to protect PC users from this new cropping malware to detect and block it before it gets out of hand.