Amid growing concerns around users’ privacy online, Kaspersky Lab has introduced its new patented technology that prevents someone from snooping through microphone data on Windows devices. The company has included the technology in its home solutions, Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Total Security.
Kaspersky points out that it is essential to monitor all requests to access microphone data in the operating system and highly important to block the ones that are unauthorized or by any untrusted program. The company also stresses that even if users put a tape on the microphone or switch it off, it is possible for someone to access sounds from the devices or around the devices through several other methods. The latest technology will provide protection from such unverified access to audio data on Windows-based devices. ALSO READ: You will soon be able to track laptops in case of theft, Microsoft patent reveals
Basically, what the technology does is add a filter on the internal commands. “After this, the technology uses Kaspersky Lab’s Application Control feature, which categorizes all programs as “trusted,” “low/high restricted” or “untrusted,” depending on their reputation, content and manufacturer. If it recognizes that an “untrusted” or “low/high restricted” program is trying to access the microphone, the request is immediately blocked,” explains Kaspersky in a blog post.
“Consumer privacy is very important to us, which is why we are developing technologies to keep our customers’ digital lives safe from malicious access,” said Alexander Kalinin, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.
“When it comes to audio protection, the main challenge was the existence of an audio stream multiplexing system within Windows, which allowed several applications to record sound simultaneously. However, this problem was resolved easily with the help of our rich kernel-driver infrastructure, which includes a mechanism to control commands between Windows services.”
Accessing users’ data through microphone has been an age-old issue for Windows users. While we’ve seen people putting a tape on webcams and even microphone to prevent such intrusion, there hadn’t been any remarkable software-based solution so far. The issue, however, came in the limelight when Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg in one of his videos was seen having tapes on one of his laptops, suggesting the snooping through web cameras and microphones is much more serious problem. ALSO READ: Mark Zuckerberg puts tape over his webcam, and here’s why you should too
Shortly after the Zuckerberg taping incident, whistleblower Edward Snowden had also suggested users do the same as security agencies like NSA and cybercriminals were capable of gaining such access. Back in 2010, a US school was accused of spying on a student through webcamera. There have been several other such incidents in the past as well.