Sonic Espionage Lessons

It’s well known that sound is created by vibrations, which pass through the air until they are received by a variety of complex components in our ears, allowing us to perceive them as speech, music, noise, and so on. However, recent research shows there is more than one way to hear a cat…

Crisp Sounds

A recently released study from MIT, in conjunction with Microsoft and Adobe, demonstrated how it is possible to reconstruct audio from a silent film by analysing minute vibrations of physical objects within the frame.

This makes sense if you realise that sound waves are basically a form of energy, and are usually radiating out in many directions at once – so they will have some effect on everything they collide with, however miniscule that effect might be. This new audio reconstruction technique can’t be achieved with any video footage; it requires a high minimum resolution and framerate to be successful, but it does offer some interesting potential for the development of new imaging techniques (as well as the more obvious surveillance and forensic uses).

Infected Microphone

Another potential sonic security concern revealed recently was that even if your computer is physically disconnected from the Internet, it can still theoretically be infected by malware via a microphone.

This article outlines a variety of ways you can protect your computer from the world of viruses, including complete physical disconnection. However, even this might not be enough to be totally secure – security researcher Dragos Ruiu discovered that infections can spread via high frequency audio transmitting from speakers of one machine to the microphone of the next target machine.

While this is unlikely to be much of a problem for most home studios, it is a good idea to keep your DAW off the Internet as much as possible; and when online, make sure you have a good antivirus setup and only visit sites you know are secure. Ideally, you should be using a completely separate machine for your everyday browsing.

But most importantly of all – make sure you regularly backup everything!


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