[CLUG-chat] Freaky thought

Stephan February clug at adeptiva.com
Tue Mar 30 15:21:28 SAST 2004


Hi there

On Tuesday 30 March 2004 21:11, Stoffel Van Aswegen (GMSI) wrote:
> A speaker can also function as a microphone.
>
> Can a machine be hacked such that the speaker is used to eavesdrop on
> the user?

I don't think this will work. Apart from speakers making for terrible mics, in 
your computer, the speaker and mic lines are connected to physically distinct 
points. The speaker is connected to the output line, and your mic is 
connected to the input line. No amount of software hacking (short of 
potentially hacking the firmware, and even then I'd have my doubts), would 
achieve the desired result.

If you have not already, you should read Neil Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. 
There is a bit of esoteric theorising in there about eavesdropping on someone 
elses computer by reading the field emitted from their CRT :) [or something 
like that. It's years since I read it.] 

Cheers
Stephan

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