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Kaspersky's new technology to avert illegal audio surveillance

siliconreview Kaspersky's new technology to avert illegal audio surveillance

In an attempt to help people to guard themselves from the threat of audio surveillance, Russian multinational cybersecurity and anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab has developed a method to thwart unlawful access to microphone data on Windows devices.

The patented technology sieve the inside commands sent to, or received by, the Windows Audio service and specify the creation of each new audio stream by any application. Following which, it then uses Kaspersky Lab's 'Application Control' feature, which categorizes all programmes depending on their reputation, content and manufacturer.

If it sense that an 'untrusted' or 'low/high restricted' programme is trying to access the microphone, the request will be blocked straight away, the company said recently.

To explain more, Alexander Kalinin, Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab, said, "When it comes to audio protection, the main difficulty in the development of this technology was the existence of an audio stream multiplexing system within Windows so that several applications can record sound simultaneously."

"However, this problem was resolved easily with help of our rich kernel driver infrastructure, which includes a mechanism to control commands between Windows services," Kalinin, who was a part in the research, added.

The technique is used in the company's flagship home solutions - Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Total Security.

However, as per the statement, no other security solutions till now in the market have included technologies to defend microphones from spiteful access.

Audio protection is part of the 'Privacy Protection' set of technologies included in Kaspersky Lab's home security solutions. 

Additionally, it also include Webcam Protection – which provides notification to  users regarding access to their integrated or connected webcam and also the Private Browsing feature, which chunks any attempt to collect data on users via a web-browser.