Skip to comments.Bugs in Google Chrome let websites listen to your conversations
Posted on 01/22/2014 8:43:31 PM PST by null and void
Googles popular Chrome search engine might be doing more than helping you find websites it might be helping websites find and listen to you through the microphone in your computer.
TalAter.com reports the search engines voice recognition functionality can be compromised by websites that allow Chrome users to navigate their site via voice.
The problem is once you give Chrome permission, the websites youve visited retain that permission even if youre not on the site, allowing them to tap into your computers onboard microphone and listen in at any time.
Any site operator that chooses to adopt Chromes speech recognition ability and buy a $5 HTTPS security certificate will have the ability to hack visitors microphones. Typically when a user visits a site, they have to manually allow voice recognition, after which Chrome will display a visual indicator telling users the function is live.
What users wont see is the secret window sites can immediately open up after voice recognition is activated, which stays open and under the control of the site even after the user manually disables the function, thanks to bugs in the search engines programming.
A speech recognition library maintainer discovered the bugs and reported them almost four months ago to Googles security team, which subsequently fixed them two weeks later but never released the update to the public because of an ongoing discussion within the Standards group.
According to the maintainer, web standards organization W3C outlined behavior that would have corrected any such problem as far back as October 2012.
The source code for the bug is posted on GitHub, and a video showing the exploit in action was uploaded to YouTube Wednesday.
Nut-job Conspiracy Theory Ping!
To get onto The Nut-job Conspiracy Theory Ping List you must threaten to report me to the Mods if I don't add you to the list...
Now that is scary stuff. I don’t want anyone listening to me talk to myself!
I avoid anything Google if I can.
Bought a new HP printer & it downloaded Google Chrome in a tool bar. I turned the bar off but its probably lurking.
Ive downloaded Google Earth os less then THREE separate occaisions.
each cycle was good for a couple of days...before the app VANISHED!
MAC’s finder ...cant....find any of them..and third party “finders” cant find any of them either.
Google at this point...is no longer allowed near my machine
So do I. Most of it is way overly complicated and difficult to use anyway. It also seems to install a bunch of other unwanted junk on your system.
I say have fun with it. Google search random things like like Ukranian amputee knitting fetish, shortbread recipes, lizard people on the Potomac, and Super Mario Bros. while you have NPR playing over the radio near your microphone.
Vetoed by the NSA? Or just Google spying on folks for fun and profit?
Dont allow voice recognition.
I read iphones can do that.
Could you speak a little louder, please?
But have they test that with Chrome 32.0.1700.76 m, which just came out a few weeks ago? That vulnerability test may not be valid if the bug has been fixed with Chrome 32.x versions.
That is the same reason why I sing along with the radio in my car (badly, and I don’t even have to try). I expect that some day I’ll be approached by an NSA analyst and be asked, for the love of God, please stop. Three agents have asked to be reassigned and a fourth is in therapy. ;-)
Here’s a clue - stay away from anything Google makes. Not too hard to figure out.
sometimes talking to myself is the only intelligent conversation I can have.
“No! You shut up!”
“I hate liberals!”
“Good! Let’s be friends.”
Let me know when they’re listening, I’ve got a few things I’d like to say...
It’s a feature, silly...
I'm gonna give you to the count of 10, to get your ugly, yella, no-good keister off my property before I pump your guts full of lead! (sound of machine gun fire) Keep the change, ya filthy animal!
I turned the bar off but its probably lurking.Go to control panel.
just another reason I am glad I don’t use Chrome
Thanks for the reminder. I’m hesitant to remove things because my wife’s smart phone has some programs here.
I was easily able to identify that the Google stuff was not needed on her phone & took it off.
Voice recognition, both Google and Apple, occurs on their servers so you can bet they gather the data. This is an exploit of Google’s technology by web designers. They’ll close it because they don’t want others to have the data.
Same with Google Maps on smart phones. When you get directions, they know who you are (they know it’s your phone), where you are, and where you are going.
Same with Amazon Kindles. All your browsing activity goes through Amazon proxy servers and they collect it. It’s a data acquisition device and a point of sale system. Obviously they know your reading preferences.
The list goes on and on.
People are freely exchanging privacy for convenience, but most folks don’t know or don’t even care.
Government, education, intelligence, robotics, healthcare, automobiles, military weapons, weather, space, media, cellphones, banking, flying.
You name it, Google is there cooking up a storm of business all over the planet.
Has there ever been a company that is so intertwined into the whole entire global economic fabric of society?
Has there ever been a company that has been able to, "legally," access so much information about so many people and so many businesses on a continuous basis?
Google Earth? Google Maps? Google everything.
So Bug? Yeah, that's it...
What do you call it?