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frank9999
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:59 am    Post subject: How to really disable microphone inputs? Reply with quote

The reason is the "audio wiretap attack" by Google with chrome AND chromium >= Version 43.x.x

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2015/06/google-chrome-listening-in-to-your-room-shows-the-importance-of-privacy-defense-in-depth/
Quote:

Without consent, Google’s code had downloaded a black box of code that – according to itself – had turned on the microphone and was actively listening to your room.


Here is the Gentoo Bug for chromium:
https://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=552298

For a PC there is no problem as long as you have not connected a external Microphone.
But in laptops Microphones are built into. I do not need and do not want a Microphone, which I have no control.
Remove would be best, but is sometimes very difficult, also void the warranty and can damage the laptop...
So IMHO is the the only way to prevent this in the future reliable, seems to me to patch the kernel.
The best would be if the alleged audio data from mic come in reality from /dev/random...
Is there already a patch for this?
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xicod
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a patch of a different sort - an electrical tape on the microphone hole :)
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schorsch_76
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To really disable it, remove the microphone plug. This is the only real solution.

On a Laptop it becomes more difficult of course .... I would unselect the Audio Card module for the Sound Card. To disable only the microphone, i guess you need a custom patch for your sound card module. I am not aware of any other method to permanently disable the mic.
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frank9999
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xicod wrote:
There is a patch of a different sort - an electrical tape on the microphone hole :)


Is there already, as it was right next to the camera my laptop ;-)
But the absorption is not particularly high.

@schorsch_76
I can live with the plug.

Yes, it probably looks as if the there is no general solution on kernel side :-(
I'll be looking at times the code for my sound drivers, the question is now at what point, as some modules are loaded ...

lsmod | grep snd
snd_hda_codec_hdmi 37160 4
snd_hda_codec_realtek 55904 1
snd_hda_codec_generic 51137 1 snd_hda_codec_realtek
snd_hda_intel 21956 4
snd_hda_controller 18434 1 snd_hda_intel
snd_hda_codec 89284 5 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_codec_generic,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_controller
snd_hwdep 6874 1 snd_hda_codec
snd_pcm 79854 4 snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_codec,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_controller
snd_timer 24188 1 snd_pcm
snd 66762 16 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hwdep,snd_timer,snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_pcm,snd_hda_codec_generic,snd_hda_codec,snd_hda_intel
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szatox
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A guess of a hack for ALSA: redefine devices to make default input read /dev/zero instead of a microphone?
I know, it's not perfect, but it might be a silencer good enough for most cases. You know, default input tends to be set to something sane ;)
Also, calling hardware directly for playback prevents other applications from accessing it. Does it work for input as well? (redirect mike to /dev/null so it can't be used?)
Can't test it now as I don't have my PC around :(
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If ALSA handles it properly, plug in a shorted microphone cable? Hopefully ALSA would think you want to use the external input and it's shorted to silence.

That would be so funny if this always worked...
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The point seems moot now since chromium has reverted to not including it.

See Hanno Boeck's comment on 2015-06-24 15:06:08 UTC (Currently the last in the bug report)
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ct85711
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

seems this issue is finally getting resolved in a better way, looks like I'm going have to switch from chrome to chromium... (sadly, this phrase "trust us" holds no value anymore considering all these other issues like lenovo, and stuff...)
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el muchacho
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:26 am    Post subject: Chromium eavesdropping through microphone Reply with quote

So much for the opensource !

Quote:
Yesterday, news broke that Google has been stealth downloading audio listeners onto every computer that runs Chrome, and transmits audio data back to Google. Effectively, this means that Google had taken itself the right to listen to every conversation in every room that runs Chrome somewhere, without any kind of consent from the people eavesdropped on. In official statements, Google shrugged off the practice with what amounts to “we can do that”.

It looked like just another bug report. "When I start Chromium, it downloads something." Followed by strange status information that notably included the lines "Microphone: Yes" and "Audio Capture Allowed: Yes".


https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2015/06/google-chrome-listening-in-to-your-room-shows-the-importance-of-privacy-defense-in-depth/
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frank9999
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-1020756.html
:wink:
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frank9999
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@szatox @eccerr0r
These are some interesting approaches.

@The Doctor
Yes it fixed for now.
But with a little forethought you can say, such a thing will happen again.
Whether intended or due to an error.
The only effective measure is therefore to prevent.
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope we don't have to get to the day we have to run on machines that "don't have sound cards"... meaning, a VM with either no sound or fake sound card that's always silent.
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

frank9999 wrote:
@The Doctor
Yes it fixed for now.
But with a little forethought you can say, such a thing will happen again.
Whether intended or due to an error.
The only effective measure is therefore to prevent.
Unfortunately true for everything. Constant vigilance is the price we pay for free software.
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desultory
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merged two posts.
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