While everyone was yelling at Apple about their wireless headphones, hackers were busy figuring out how to hack the ones in your ears.
Wired magazine is reporting about a group of researchers at Israel’s Ben Gurion University who were able to turn a pair of earbuds into a couple of microphones that could be used to spy on you. They are calling the project “Speake(a)r.” Now that’s some clever marketing.
This wasn’t designed to do anything malicious, but rather to alert us to how hackers could find a way “to hijack a computer to record audio even when the device’s microphones have been entirely removed or disabled.”
While it’s long been known that you can turn a pair of headphones into a mic, the researches were able to display a real vulnerability. This piece of malware can record audio even when the headphones remain connected into an input-only jack and don’t even have a microphone channel on their plug.” What’s more, it works on Windows, MacOS, and most laptops. So if this piece of malware ends up on your computer, consider your line bugged.
Cool. I guess that that piece of tape over your laptop camera isn’t enough. Time to snip those earbuds as well.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be in a secret underground bunker surrounded by cans of Heinz baked beans and three feet of concrete.