Dozens of HP laptops around the world have been shipped with an audio driver that holds a questionable design, as it basically records every key press you make inside a text file that is easily accessible and can be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands. This discovery was made by security firm ModZero recently, and it’s freaking some people out.
The audio driver comes with a feature that gives users the ability to assign a special key for turning the microphone on/off, and it works by registering every keystroke made on the keyboard to be notified whenever that special key is pressed. This, of course, makes everything you type on your PC vulnerable in case of any hacking attempt.
“The goal is to monitor holding a button or releasing it. However, because of the diagnoses features the developers put every key press is recorded in a public direction on the hard drive” said ModZero, hinting at the dangers that this file present as it’s basically a harmless spyware at this moment that can be used wrongfully.
This “feature” was found in most HP computers since December 2015, and it stores data in C:\Users\Public\MicTray.log. Luckily, getting rid of this specific annoyance is rather simple. How? go to C:\Windows\System32\MicTray64.exe and C:\Windows\System32\MicTray.exe then rename those two files, that should be enough to stop the audio driver from recording anything you press.
This of course means that you no longer will be able to assign hotkeys to turn on your microphone, but we think that your digital security is far more important than that. ModZero tried to reach out to HP and Coexant for comments but they refused to cooperate, so warning people publicly is the only thing that could be done right now.
Also Read: HP joins the list of Cortana speakers makers