Careful What You Say Around Chrome, Someone Might be Eavesdropping

18

Comments

+ Add a Comment
avatar

Flop64

simple fix;

unplug your webcam and/or mic when you're not using it

sucks for laptop/tablet/smartphone users because the hardware is integrated right on the device. i think if manufacturers started offering a physical switch to turn cameras and microphones off, this vulnerability wouldn't be nearly as big an issue as it is now

avatar

anc51699

When Chrome asks users for permission to use microphone input, hit the "Deny" button unless you completely trust the site. Simple as that. That's why this isn't a security hole. A security hole would be if Chrome didn't ask for permission, or if the site in question has a way of bypassing this. If you want to call it something, call it "malicious websites taking advantage of idiots". You can't blame these sites, they know users will just do whatever they think is best. That's why there's all these so-called driver updater, error-fixing, performance-increasing and fake antivirus programs floating around: they know how to make money off of people that don't know any better.

Google isn't going to remove a feature like this because then you lose the benefits a feature like this provides. Granted I don't think a lot of people use it, but it has its uses. If anything, they should either provide a warning about the possible ramifications of hitting "allow", or ask the user every time for permission, no matter if they've allowed it on that same site in the past. Axing this feature wouldn't solve anything, since plug-ins like Flash Player also allow for monitoring of microphone/webcam input.

avatar

LatiosXT

It's funny how many people blindly trust things and then cry foul when there's a "security breach". It's like giving Shady Joe the keys to your house and complain he robbed it while you weren't looking.

avatar

John Pombrio

What exactly do you say in your house that is worth hacking? "Hello, this is John Pombrio in Manchester CT and the account numbers and passwords to my bank accounts are XXXXX any YYYYY!" Or more like, "Tuna sounds good on the pizza, hon" or "damn it, stop camping my dead body!"
I have been talking and talking to my Kinect lately saying things like " Kill the president", "Bomb the white house", and "my al queda friends and I will be blowing up the train station" for weeks now and there has been absolutely NO response from the FBI, CIA, or the NSA. Not one blown in door with a door knocker, SWAT surrounding the house, nothing, nada. I am SO disappointed!

avatar

The Mac

Tuna on Pizza?

ewwwwww.......

you should be arrested just for that...

lol

avatar

vrmlbasic

Cooked tuna, or even raw tuna, might not be too bad but if it is something else-my mind jumped to "tuna fish"-then yes, the food police must be informed.

It is our civic duty; See something, say something :D

avatar

The Mac

I had assumed he meant canned tuna-fish, as most people would say Ahi or Yellowfin if they meant steaks or shashimi.

avatar

Eoraptor

they're right in asserting it's not a security hole. Then again, Facebook is not a security hole either as you're supposedly going into that with your eyes open as well.

both are still routinely used to rape your privacy and security.

God I feel liks a purveyor of tinfoil hats. No, I feel like the guy at the end of Invasion of the body snatchers... screaming to people that they are willingly driving to their deaths, and yet they're looking at people like me like we're the insane ones standing in the rain.

avatar

LatiosXT

Easy solution that benefits everyone.

1. Don't allow websites to use your microphone
2. If they insist, that website shouldn't be trusted
3. Mute/Disable the microphone as thetinean suggested.

People should also stop using Chrome and instead use Chromium. It's like going from the Android that everyone ships with (loaded with Google branding out the rear) to a genuine stock Android.

avatar

Arnulf

People should stop using Chrome, period. It is a crappy bloated piece of junk that is only matched in its crappyness by recent Firefox and most Safari and IE versions.

avatar

lordfirefox

Gosh I guess I better go with a browser no one has heard of and has zero compatibility with any web page.

avatar

TheITGuy

Good list and I definitely agree about using Chromium if you still want to use Chrome. You could even use other branded alternatives like Iron as well.

avatar

thetinean

*Goes to Recording devices and disables the microphone*

Problem solved!

avatar

AFDozerman

God, chrome pisses me off. If they're going to insist that a security flaw isn't a security flaw, at least don't push the flawed software on people without their permission. I just downloaded earth to map out a run yesterday, and when I closed it out, there it was-the chrome icon on my desktop, having installed itself without my permission when I installed Earth (I know it wasn't on my system before because I just reformatted and reinstalled Windows).

Chrome is malware in my eyes.

Bullwinkle inbound in 3... 2... 1...

avatar

misterz100

Yay lets all gather the tinfoil hats.

Obviously you did not read the article, it's not a security issue if it asks your permission.

avatar

Baer

Yup, I totally agree. Any software that is snuck into the typical users computer through 3rd party such as Adobe updates without clear warning BEFORE they use the "typical" install should be considered possible malware.

avatar

vrmlbasic

I also can't stand Chrome. This exploit coming from a company whose singular focus is mining our data and selling it to the highest bidder is not surprising in the least.

and Google would have us believe that they didn't jump at the chance to join PRISM. ROFL.

avatar

anc51699

Don't encourage him