Google Chrome web browser enables malicious websites to activate your microphone and to actively monitor conversations in the room containing the computer

A bug (defect, designed perhaps) in the Google Chrome web browser enables malicious websites to activate your microphone and to actively monitor conversations in the room containing the computer. The Israeli web developer Tal Ater discovered the exploitable feature while working on a JavaScript Speech Recognition library called Annyang. The internet giant dismissed the problem, naturally, but they lied. In a statement Google brushed aside any immediate threat, claiming a user must first enable speech recognition for each site that requests it. In a video the savvy Tal Ater filmed with a voice-over artist, in a demo how websites that legitimately turn on your microphone to enable speech recognition, can continue to record and listen in on conversations in the background even after the user has left the website. His video showed successfully that every word of the script which was read aloud by the voice-over artist was recorded by Chrome's speech recognition feature, even after the website was closed. According to the video, the information captured from the conversation is then sent to Google's servers, analyzed and then can be directed almost anywhere, like the NSA center in Utah. The malicious website could hide information being recorded beneath a banner ad, Ater suggested. The Chrome bug also enables attackers to program the speech recognition feature so that it stays dormant, and only starts recording conversations if the user says certain keywords near the computer. A clever trigger activation. This is Big Brother with advanced intelligence, sponsored by Google, probably with research funds awarded by the NSA itself. See the UK Yahoo News article

Feb 17, 2014

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