Following October’s crushing DDoS attacks on Dyn, researchers at Ben-Gurion University have found that even your headphones might be subject to hacking.

Using malware, a deft user can manipulate the RealTek audio codec chips in a device to retask the output channels as an input channel. Even though your headphones don’t have a mic input, the drivers in your ear cans can still be used in reverse order; here’s how Wired explains the science of it.

“Just as the speakers in headphones turn electromagnetic signals into sound waves through a membrane’s vibrations, those membranes can also work in reverse, picking up sound vibrations and converting them back to electromagnetic signals.”

You might say “there’s nothing to be worried about, who would want to eavesdrop on my daily life?” Well, the study was able to pick up conversations up to a shocking 20 feet away, meaning that you could simply be used as a pawn to sneak on a discussion of anyone in your close proximity. For the full study, click here.

 

Source: Consequence of Sound | Photo: AP Photo/ Alexander Zemlianichenko