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Chrome Bugs Lets Sites Listen To Your Private Conversations 109

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-what-i-want-from-my-browser dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Last year Google rolled out a new feature for the desktop version of Chrome that enabled support for voice recognition directly into the browser. In September, a developer named Tal Ater found a bug that would allow a malicious site to record through your microphone even after you'd told it to stop. Quoting: 'When you grant an HTTPS site permission to use your mic, Chrome will remember your choice, and allow the site to start listening in the future, without asking for permission again. This is perfectly fine, as long as Chrome gives you clear indication that you are being listened to, and that the site can't start listening to you in background windows that are hidden to you. When you click the button to start or stop the speech recognition on the site, what you won't notice is that the site may have also opened another hidden popunder window. This window can wait until the main site is closed, and then start listening in without asking for permission. This can be done in a window that you never saw, never interacted with, and probably didn't even know was there.' Ater reported this to Google in September, and they had a fix ready a few days later. But they haven't rolled it out yet — they can't decide whether or not it's the proper way to block this behavior. Thus: the exploit remains. Ater has published the source code for the exploit to encourage Google to fix it."
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Chrome Bugs Lets Sites Listen To Your Private Conversations

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  • Re:2014 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vlueboy (1799360) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @08:45PM (#46041737)

    They do something. They click on the page.

    Popups are allowed from a valid onclick event so the ads put a onclick event on the entire page.

    Not the whole story. Internet Explorer, that ol' browser none of us use when idle, is pretty aggressive blocking even onclick.
    It makes little sense that it's a default setting, and I can't recall.
    My first sense that browsers were in bed with the bad guys was 10+ years ago. I found some alt browser that expressly allowed me to block annoying behaviors:
    * scripted window movement and resizing
    * status bar text changes (crudely obfuscating hover text when you want to see where you'll land)
    * hide the menu bar, navigation bar and url so as to give a small HTML window popup (so you can't tell what url it loaded, how to turn back without keyboard [obscure to Joe Sixpack], and what domains to ban)

    All three of those may have had true uses before web 2.0 during your banking or e-commerce session. But today, css and floating divs can be used to blur the window selectively as to highlight the necessary context. They are vestiges that are not needed by legit sites, and yet are overused by sneaky sites. Browsers phased out blink tags, http + https iframe mix, urlbar javascript execution and other stuff, but don't get rid of pop unders, even as an option somewhere? intentional

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @09:41PM (#46042199)

    Not to say I like Firefox, but I am currently hating it the least. All the browsers are problematic in my opinion, just in different ways. I used FF for a long time but its Flash issues were just too much, among other things, so I switched to Chrome. Now I'm back on FF. I really like a lot about IE, but it has too many problems rendering a number of websites correctly so it is out.

    Nobody can seem to make a good browser, just a less bad one :P.

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