Reports suggest it is possible to know someone’s password just by the sounds made during typing on touch screens. Scammers are capable of extracting some private information, not via a cyber-attack but plugging their ears to your fingers touching the keys. Suspicious actors may decode the password a person is typing via some spying app that can have access to the microphone of the smartphone, reports have concluded that this attack was able to get several passwords from multiple users, the pin number and full words were recoverable with great accuracy.
An audio-based threat could be posed when an individual installs the app that has malware in it. The apps usually ask for authorization and permission but most people accept the agreement without looking at them, some attackers have a scheme of gifting smartphones to their users with malware already installed in it. Reports have suggested an algorithm based on machine learning can interpret vibrations for different keystrokes? The device’s in-built microphone could recover the wave and be able to hear the touch made by the finger, the sound wave distortion is a feature of tapping location.
By recording the audio via an inbuilt microphone, a threatening app can conclude text as the user’s type on their screen. This experiment was conducted on the Android app which allowed interested users to input letters with words, while they entered the passwords the app was able to record via the built-in microphone.
A real-time experiment chose students to enter their university pass codes, the level of background noise was also tested, and different locations were tested to see if noises altered the sound recorded by the microphone. Locations such as a library, computer lab, and auditorium all of them were tested, the test report was not put out in the public but is maintained with the authorities. To avoid the hazards of being hacked it has been suggested that the smartphone manufacturers should install a switch which can prevent such mishaps by allowing the users to switch off the inbuilt microphone, also the smartphone makers were suggested to develop a facility that informs the user about the time the microphone is switched on, a flash or blinking icon on the device screen could help.
John Woods is a self-professed security expert; he has been making the people aware of the security threats. His passion is to write about Cyber security, malware, social engineering, Games, internet and new media. He writes for Garmin GPS Support at Garmin GPS Customer Service.