Think the video call mute button keeps you safe? Think again | #itsecurity | #infosec


Have you recently been on a video confefence call, hit the “mute” button and then offered up some nasty comments about a client or a colleague — or even the boss?

Or maybe while in a conference room with colleagues — muted — and pointed out that some proposed action would violate the terms of a secret acquisition in its final stages?

If you were comfortable that the mute button was actively protecting your secret, you shouldn’t have been.

Thanks to some impressive experimentation and research from a group of academics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Loyola University Chicago, utterances made while the app is in mute are still captured and saved into RAM.

On one level, this is something we all already knew. When a user is muted and says something, most videoconferencing apps will display a note alerting the user that they’re talking while muted. How could it say that if it weren’t listening while the mute button is on? 

Just as Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa are always listening for a command word, so, too, are those “muted” applications. 

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.



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