Chrome bug turns PC into spying device

2014-01-23 13:00
(Lionel Bonaventure, AFP)

(Lionel Bonaventure, AFP) (Lionel Bonaventure, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Big brother might be listening - at least, that's according to a report indicating that Chrome browser users might be exposed to eavesdropping.

According to a report on Arstechnica, a bug in Google's Chrome browser allows a website that has previously been given access to a computer microphone to listen in for extended periods of time - without the user knowing.

Initially, one has to authorise a website to record audio or video using the computer's hardware, but according to the report, even if you leave the website, a malicious site can continue to record without your knowledge.

Israeli researcher Tal Ater who discovered the bug said that in addition to recording conversations at the PC, the software can be configured to recognise and record specific words and phrases, potentially turning your own PC into a spying device.

Ater said he alerted Google about the bug in September 2013, but as yet, the patch has not been included in an update to the browser.

Chrome is by far the most popular browser and accounts for 55% of market share, with Firefox and 26% and Internet Explorer at 9%.

It is not yet known whether the bug affects mobile devices like smartphones or tablets, but given the speed of software development and the reduction of physical hardware controls, it might only be a matter of time before such a nightmare scenario unfolds.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    google  |  internet  |  online privacy
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Wallabies win, Boks to face Wales
LIVE: England v Uruguay
As it happened: Australia 15-6 Wales
Scots beat Samoa, end Japan's dream
Traffic Alerts

The phrase for today is:”Out of the blue.” Expect the unexpected and work with the changeable energy. Your intuition is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.