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Is it possible for a malicious program to record computer's microphone?


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#1 BlueGalaxy

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 04:20 PM

Is it possible for a malicious program to use the computer's microphone to record sound in a background process, without showing any easily noticeable symptoms? I think that many laptops probably have an internal microphone. Could a malicious program install itself to a computer and record sound while the computer is turned on but idle? What is the likelihood that such a program would be installed by a PC manufacturer as bundleware? Is there any way to detect and remove such a program from the computer if it exists?



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#2 JohnnyJammer

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 04:53 PM

absolutely it could and there is.



#3 Crazy Cat

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 04:58 PM

Former NSA staffer demonstrates Mac malware that can tap into live webcam and mic feeds. https://9to5mac.com/2016/10/06/mac-malware-webcam-microphone/

Malware designed to take over cameras and record audio enters Google Play. http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/03/malware-designed-to-take-over-cameras-and-record-audio-enters-google-play/

Simple solutions is to disable the drivers, but malware can reactivate the drivers, or tape the camera & microphone.

Software solution: Microphone Block -Anti malware. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bettertomorrowapps.microphoneblockfree&hl=en
 

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#4 Didier Stevens

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Posted 22 October 2016 - 04:30 AM

Yes. And smartphones and tablets have cameras and microphones too.


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#5 shelf life

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Posted 22 October 2016 - 06:28 AM

It dosnt have to be malicious, it can be intentional:

 

http://www.samsung.com/sg/info/privacy/smarttv/


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#6 BlueGalaxy

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Posted 22 October 2016 - 04:14 PM

Would a software such as Super Anti Spyware be able to remove such a malicious program?



#7 Crazy Cat

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Posted 22 October 2016 - 04:25 PM

Would a software such as Super Anti Spyware be able to remove such a malicious program?


If Super Anti Spyware has a discovered malware signature.
 

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#8 BlueGalaxy

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Posted 23 October 2016 - 09:41 PM

What programs or utilities could be used to detect spyware or loggers? Is it possible to detect such malicious programs with the Task Manager?



#9 ichito

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 08:28 AM

At this time the best solution can be apps based not on signatures but on detection of specific behaviour/action of processes...and answering your question - no way to recognise which process presented in task monitor can capture keystrokes, camera, microphone, screen or clipboard. Te signature based apps are always "delayed" relative to malware

I think you should consider protection like Zemana AL or...even better...SpyShelter.


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#10 MDD1963

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 04:52 PM

What programs or utilities could be used to detect spyware or loggers? Is it possible to detect such malicious programs with the Task Manager?

If you remotely suspect such activity, I'd certainly stay abreast of anything suspicious on Task Manager, and, would look very at Microsoft/SysInternals' "Process Explorer", which gives much detail about assorted processes running, their spawn points, etc....; likewise, an easy to use firewall supplement such as Glasswire would should you all assorted network connections, with associated applications, countries, ports involved, lengths of time for connections, etc...

 

(If I was truly concerned about potential keylogger/spy programs, I personally would nuke and pave without a 2nd thought)


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#11 Crazy Cat

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 08:14 PM

Is my webcam spying on me? http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=1n1mdfs96s35b27jtnhtuj9f83&topic=68463.0
 

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#12 bwv848

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 09:49 PM

That's why I just tape up my webcam. I don't think malware can physically remove masking tape yet...


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#13 BlueGalaxy

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 01:20 AM

What about disabling the Microphone device driver using the Device Manager? Would it make the computer unable to record sound? By logic, any "hidden" spyware would be unable to use the microphone device driver to record sound, if the device driver is disabled, right? I rarely use the computer's built in microphone. Would it be possible to activate it again in case I needed to record sound to my computer?



#14 Didier Stevens

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 02:42 AM

Yes, you can disable the microphone under Audio inputs and outputs.


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