Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Researchers create crazy new malware that spies on you through your headphones

Published Nov 23rd, 2016 6:42PM EST
Malware Security

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

These days, we seemingly can’t go a week without hearing about a dangerous piece of smartphone malware or some new way for hackers to keep tabs on what we’re up to. Indeed, the golden age of information has also provided malicious actors with more avenues to spy on, and in some cases steal money from, unsuspecting users.

To this point, cyber security researchers from Ben Gurion University in Israel recently disclosed that they’ve unearthed a way to spy on users via headphones connected to a vulnerable computer. Yep, in 2016, not even your headphones can be used without having to worry about a third-party eavesdropping on your conversations. The software at issue is still very much a proof of concept but it nonetheless appears to be incredibly advanced, creative, and downright frightening.

DON’T MISS: Leak: iPhone 8’s major redesign paves the way for a new killer feature

According to Wired, the malware, which researchers are calling “Speake(a)r”, has the ability to remotely infiltrate a PC and subsequently use a connected pair of headphones to record audio, even when the computer’s own microphones have been completely turned off or even disconnected.

“The experimental malware instead repurposes the speakers in earbuds or headphones to use them as microphones,” the report explains, “converting the vibrations in air into electromagnetic signals to clearly capture audio from across a room.”

A video demonstrating how the malware works can be viewed below. It’s pretty next-level stuff.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.