1. sam_b77's Avatar
    Just came across this article....these smartphones are dangerous:
    Georgia Tech Turns iPhone Into SpiPhone. Paranoids Scream. - CrazyEngineers
    Georgia Tech researchers have invented a spyware that can guess what you are typing on your keyboard with about 80% efficiency. All the hacker needs to do is place iPhone 4 near to your keyboard and as you type stuff with your keyboard, the software on the phone would guess what words you are typing. Given the higher levels of efficiency GT engineers were able to demonstrate; we sure have a reason not to buy an iPhone 4. Oh well, iPhone 3GS didnt work very well in their*experiments. Paranoids should stick with iPhone 3GS and give up thoughts of upgrading to iPhone 4S.

    Prof. Patrick Traynor Of Georgia Tech. Image Credit: Georgia Tech
    The engineers were able to exploit the accelerometer & gyroscope used to cancel out accelerometer noise in iPhone 4 to achieve the desired results. The accelerometer can accurately sense keyboard vibrations sampling at about 100 / second. The software (malware) detects pair of keystrokes and then models it as keyboard events. Its able to identify whether the key pressed is on the left side of the keyboard or on the right and also whether they are close are far apart. Professor*Patrick Traynor explains it with an example. Take the word canoe. If you type that word on keyboard, the software samples the data as CA AN NO OE. It then determines whether the keys pressed were far part or closer to each other and then references the inbuilt dictionary to accurately guess the word. Scientists were able to achieve similar results with the help of microphone built in the smart phones. The microphones are much more sensitive and can sample the vibrations at the rate of over 44k /second. However, smartphone manufacturers *have built security features around microphone and user input is required to use it. However, theres no such input is required to use accelerometer and hackers can easily exploit it.

    The researchers are about to present a detailed paper based on their*experiments*and observations. They believe in two years time, the hackers would be able to launch actual attacks by creating malware and spreading it across various mobile OS platforms. We are going back to using our Nokia 5100. What about you?

    Via: Georgia Tech Press
    10-20-11 12:34 PM