Google Chrome bug lets sites listen to your conversations

Be careful what you say around Google Chrome. Web developer Tal Ater discovered that the popular browser contains a bug that allows companies and websites to listen to anything you say around your computer, reports Gizmodo.

One feature of Chrome is voice activation, which gives Chrome access to your computer’s microphone. Chrome tells you when the mic is on or off, but a glitch allows sites to keep your mic on without your knowledge. These malicious sites will open a pop-under window that can stay open long after you leave the site. If you used your mic for any reason on that site, it can keep your mic open and record your conversations as long as that hidden, pop-under window is open.

It’s not hard to see why this is scary: Any phone calls you make near your computer or credit card info you say aloud can be sent back to the malicious website. Ater discovered the flaw works because the microphone’s “on” alert on Chrome only works with full-on tabs or windows, not small pop-under windows. Ater notified Chrome months ago and Google came up with a fix but has not issued it yet, according to Gizmodo. One way to avoid the glitch completely is to never use your mic or voice commands on Google Chrome.

Watch Ater’s video above to see the bug in action.



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