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Maybe not 100% on topic for this site but it seemed like a good place to ask.

All laptops are now sold with webcams and microphones and I have use for neither. Taking care of the webcam is easy; three layers of black duct tape

The microphone is a bit trickier. Placing duct tape on it will probably dim the reception but I doubt a cleverly designed audio trojan can't still make some sense of a conversation.

What solutions are on offer (besides the rather obvious physical removal)?

marked as duplicate by TildalWave, GdD, Xander, Rory Alsop Nov 7 '14 at 13:52

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • @TildalWave Did not find that one, can't delete because of answer. Thanks though. – Juicy Nov 7 '14 at 12:28
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Most microphones are visible as a small hole in the computer case. You can drive (slowly) a strong pin through it until it ceases to function (if the microphone is soldered directly to the motherboard, then there is some risk of damaging other components; this is safer if the microphone is, like mine, located over the screen, just beside the webcam). Alternatively, you can probably disable it by pouring some epoxy glue through that hole. The bright side of it is that you can test whether the microphone has indeed been killed by using any recording software.

Unfortunately, some hardware designs will put the microphone close to the hole (or small grid) but not immediately behind it. If your laptop is of that kind, then you will have to open the case to locate the microphone and let it feel your wrath. If the microphone is linked to the motherboard through a pair of wires, then cutting the wires will suffice to make it inert. (Of course, opening the case may void the warranty.)

(Alternative is to use the laptop only within a Cone Of Silence, which is impractical.)

  • my laptop allows the mike and the cam to be disabled in BIOS. Can I be confident, that If I have disabled it in BIOS, the mike cannot be used (i.e. by a virus/trojan) ? – Martin Vegter Nov 7 '14 at 15:17
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    Technically no, you cannot trust that. If it can be done from software (BIOS is just software) then it can be undone in software. – Tom Leek Nov 7 '14 at 15:29

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