Reason Why Mark Zuckerberg cover his headphone jack with black tape.
Mark Zuckerberg, shared a photo to his Facebook account, celebrating the growing user base of Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.
Instagram – A Photo sharing social networking site, is also owned by Zuckerberg, who bought it with a whopping $1 Billion.
This is what Mark shared along with the photo;
More than 500 million people now use Instagram every month — and 300 millionevery day. The Instagram community has more than doubled over the past two years. This is a tribute to Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger‘s vision, and to people everywhere who have opened a window into their world — from big events to everyday moments. Thanks for making Instagram such a beautiful place.
So, what’s more, interesting about this photo?
An eagle-eyed Twitter user named Chris Olson noticed that in the image’s background, his laptop camera and microphone jack appeared to be covered with tape.
3 things about this photo of Zuck:
- Camera covered with tape
- Mic jack covered with tape
- Email client is Thunderbird
Mark, himself is a security researcher and an expert; he is aware of all the security threats and measure to be taken to stay away. He is also known for few of his security breach at Harvard student Database.
Reasons behind Taping Camera, Closing USB and Mic Jack ports:
The taped-over camera and microphone jack are usually a signal that someone is concerned, perhaps only vaguely, about hackers’ gaining access to his or her devices by using remote-access trojans — a process called “ratting.” (Remote access is not limited to ratters) You can read more about RAT.
This is a very old practice and an Electronic Frontier Foundation has created webcam stickers that you can order for just five bucks. Almost, all the security researchers are aware of the Webcam hack, know more about Electro-Optical Sigint
That 15″ MacBook Pro has a mini TOSLINK optical audio output inside the headphone jack which outputs, when active, light in the 650nm portion of the visible spectrum. That opens up a potential (albeit very, very difficult) opportunity for someone to RAT his laptop, and either:
A) engage the microphone*
B) tap the incoming audio stream if he’s currently using a USB mic
C) Stream data of any kind to the TOSLINK interface (which operates at a respectable 125Mbit/s.)
then, with some very (VERY) good optics and signal processing, capture that optical stream from afar. Et voilà.
If all that sounds implausible… then check out the very real and far-more-implausible-sounding Van Eck phreaking to see the sorts of things a clever hacker/engineer can pull off with a little bit of signal and enough sensitive gear.
Which is not on the side on this model, it is buried in the hinge well (I have this same laptop, the headphone jack is adjacent to the caps lock key as in the photo). This makes it difficult to stifle, unfortunately, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Zuckerberg has opened his laptop up and electrically disabled the mic.
In one of his leaks, Edward Snowden said the following;
According to The Intercept, the NSA uses a plug-in called GUMFISH to take over cameras on infected machines and snap photos. Another NSA plug-in called CAPTIVATEDAUDIENCE hijacks the microphone on targeted computers to record conversations.
Additionally, there is also a news suspecting that Facebook listens to us through our Microphone and Speakers even when they are not in use by the account holder.
So, if Facebook is doing that, there might be chances of other Social Networking sites doing the same without our permission. Just, as an extra security measure mark has taped the Mic port as well.
Should you also consider this?
We all know that Mark is a high-value target. A recent hacking of his Twitter and LinkedIn accounts shows that he most likely committed two basic privacy faux pas: He may have used the same password across several websites and did not use two-factor authentication.
I would suggest everyone consider this, as no matter how hard you try to keep your system update and use the latest version of software programs, or staying away from suspicious links; hackers will find a way to intrude into your Laptop or PCs somehow. It’s always advisable to take an extra precaution as the chances of getting compromised are very high.