Browse Definitions :
Definition

microphone hacking

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Microphone hacking is the unauthorized interception of audio data captured through the microphone on a computer, smartphone or other device.

In 2014, whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that government and intelligence community representatives could remotely activate a target smartphone’s microphone without causing any device behaviors that might alert the user. Smartphones that have been activated for surveillance purposes are sometimes referred to as roving bugs. In 2016, researchers at Ben Gurion University in Israel created a proof-of-concept hack that exploited the microphones in headphones to capture conversation as much as 20 feet away from the device.

As the Internet of Things (IoT) develops, more and more devices are equipped with microphones for voice interaction and communications. Microphones that have been activated unbeknownst to the users have been reported in various types of devices including not only mobile devices but also smart TVs, home automation hubs and smart speakers.

In a consumer surveillance context, a device microphone might be accessed to eavesdrop on user conversations for data that can be used for targeted advertising. Countless people have reported, for example, that Facebook ads have appeared featuring products and services that they had only spoken of and had neither searched for nor mentioned in text chat online.

On Mashable, Kellen Beck explained how to protect your device from microphone hacking: Plug a microphone-equipped pair of earbuds into the audio jack and cut off the bud end with the microphone on it just below the mic. When you plug the earbuds in, the device switches default audio input from the internal mic to the external one, and since you've removed the external mic, it can't capture audio.

This was last updated in November 2017

Continue Reading About microphone hacking

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

thank you ,you did a good job
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

SearchSecurity

  • buffer underflow

    Buffer underflow, also known as buffer underrun or buffer underwrite, is a threat to data that typically occurs when the ...

  • digital signature

    A digital signature is a mathematical technique used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a message, software or digital...

  • denial-of-service attack

    A denial-of-service attack is a security event that occurs when an attacker prevents legitimate users from accessing specific ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • virtual disaster recovery

    Virtual disaster recovery is a type of DR that typically involves replication and allows a user to fail over to virtualized ...

  • tabletop exercise (TTX)

    A tabletop exercise (TTX) is a disaster preparedness activity that takes participants through the process of dealing with a ...

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a data center.

SearchStorage

  • secondary storage

    Secondary storage is storage for noncritical data that does not need to be frequently accessed.

  • Pure Storage

    Pure Storage is a provider of enterprise data flash storage solutions designed to substitute for electromechanical disk arrays.

  • yobibyte (YiB)

    A yobibyte (YiB) is a unit of measure used to describe data capacity as part of the binary system of measuring computing and ...

Close