Chrome Browser Could Be Spying on You, Israeli Web Developer Says

Google dismisses eavesdropping threat, says users have nothing to worry about.

An Israeli Web developer says he has discovered a bug in the Google Chrome browser that exposes users to eavesdropping.

The International Business Times reports that Tal Ater has published a video illustrating how the bug allows malicious websites not only to turn on the Chrome user's microphone to enable speech recognition, but to record conversations around the computer even after the user has left the website.

Google, however, is reassuring its customers that they have nothing to worry about. "We've reinvestigated and still believe there is no immediate threat, since a user must first enable speech recognition for each site that requests it."

Ater, however, disagrees. He has published a video showing Chrome's speech recognition feature recording words spoken aloud next to a computer, even after the computer had closed the website.

Ater writes that he informed Google of the bug last September, and that Google's security team shortly came up with a solution. Ater notes that the company even nominated him for a prize.

"But then time passed, and the fix didn't make it to users' desktops," he adds. "As of today, almost four months after learning about this issue, Google is still waiting for [its in-house security team] to agree on the best course of action, and your browser is still vulnerable."