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Mic drop: How to keep snoops from listening to your laptop's microphone

Glenn Fleishman | July 5, 2016
Mark Zuckerberg put tape over his Mac's mic. That's not going to help.

sudo srm -rf /System/Library/Extensions/AppleUSBAudio.kext sudo srm -rf /System/Library/Extensions/IOAudioFamily.kext sudo touch /System/Library/Extensions

This will disallow all audio input, could disable audio output, and will probably require reapplying after each system update, which may restore missing drivers.

Disable audio input hardware

The deepest level is to disable or remove the actual hardware in your computer. This can be easier than it sounds. I asked Kyle Wiens, the head of repair-guide and parts company iFixit, and he said one could melt the solder for the audio port connection on a motherboard and remove the built-in microphone altogether.

privatei ifixit macbook retina audio boardiFixIt

The 2015 MacBook has a removable audio subsystem.

On some models, it can be much simpler. The 2015 and 2016 MacBooks have two built-in mics, but they're close together and connected to the motherboard with a detachable cable. Following iFixit's guide to replace an audio port, you could instead disconnect the mics, disconnect the entire assembly, or completely remove the audio board.

Source: Macworld 


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