New security feature coming to users with next update

Nov 9, 2018 12:51 GMT  ·  By  ·  Comment  · 
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Windows Security in Windows 10 19H1
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   Windows Security in Windows 10 19H1

Just like its predecessors, Windows 10 19H1 will come with improvements in more than just area, and the security of the operating system itself will also get a boost thanks to a feature that’s already being tested as part of the Windows Insider program.

In Windows 10 build 18277, Microsoft announced that Windows Defender Application Guard gets a new option that would enhance isolated browsing with more controls.

Specifically, users are allowed to enable and disable camera and microphone access for Microsoft Edge Application Guard, which would technically help deal with the potential damage that a cyber attack would generate.

With Application Guard, apps, including Microsoft’s own Edge browser, run in a closed sandbox, which basically makes it impossible for malware to reach the rest of the data stored on the system.

And beginning with this build, users get one more option to control which features are available in this sandbox, so users can now allow access to the camera and microphone as well.

Windows Security in Windows 10 19H1
How to control camera and microphone access

Microsoft explains that if you want to use the camera in an isolated sandbox, it also needs to be enabled for the device elsewhere too. The company says:

“Insiders will notice that Isolated browsing has an additional toggle that lets users manage access to their camera and microphone while browsing using Application Guard for Microsoft Edge.

If this is managed by enterprise admins, users can check how this setting is configured. For this to be turned on in Application Guard for Microsoft Edge, the camera and microphone setting must already be turned on for the device in Settings > Privacy > Microphone & Settings > Privacy > Camera.”

To enable or disable camera and microphone access as part of this new feature, you first need to launch Windows Security (this is the new name for Windows Defender Security Center) either from the System Tray or by typing its name in the Start menu. Then navigate to the following location:

Windows Security > App & browser control > Isolated browsing > Change Application Guard settings

There’s a new Camera and microphone section lower in the page that shows up on the screen, and clicking the toggle lets you enable or disable access to this feature easily.

Using the Registry Editor hack for enabling microphone

As WinAero notes, there’s another way to enable and disable the camera and the microphone in this security feature of Windows 10. And it all comes down to the Registry Editor.

Type regedit.exe in the Start menu or press the Windows key + R to launch the running dialog. Make sure you are logged in with an administrator account because otherwise, you won’t be able to make changes to the system registry.

Navigate to the following location in the Windows 10 Registry Editor (in 19H1 you can also copy the path and paste it in the address bar):

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Hvsi

Right-click in the empty space in the right side of the screen and go to New > DWORD (32-bit) Value to create a new item called EnableCameraMicrophoneRedirection.

Depending on the value you set for this new registry key, the microphone and the camera would be enabled or disabled in the Application Guard. Value 0 means they are disabled while value 1 enables them. Double-click the registry item to change the value.

Windows 10 19H1 is currently in preview stage and Microsoft is expected to launch it in the spring of 2019. According to Microsoft’s release schedule, this feature update should be finalized in March, while the public rollout would begin in April. As always, insiders will be the first to get the RTM build.

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Windows Security in Windows 10 19H1
Windows Security in Windows 10 19H1Using the Registry Editor hack for enabling microphone
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