Your phone’s gyroscope can listen to you with a hack

Aug 15, 2014
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Your phone’s gyroscope can listen to you with a hack

Hacking your phone’s gyroscope is not a simple task. It’s not going to happen overnight, and unless there’s some method we’re not yet aware of, it’s not going to happen without your permission - yet. Several researchers have discovered a way to make a gyroscope listen in on your voice, on the other hand, and it may be possible to turn a normally harmless piece of equipment into a spy machine soon.

What you’re about to see is a very, very rudimentary presentation of what researchers from Stanford University and Israel’s defense research group Rafael plan to show off at the Usenix security conference this month. Your smartphone almost certainly has a gyroscope - keep that in mind.

The gyroscope in your phone allows it to see the device’s orientation. If you’ve ever played a driving game where your phone is the steering wheel, you have a gyroscope. If your phone cost you more than $100 in the store - it almost certainly has a gyroscope.

Researchers have figured out a way to allow this tiny sensor to pick up sound waves, transferring those sounds to the phone for recording. They’ve created software called "Gyrophone" and plan on showing off their work next week.

speak

When you download an app from an app store - iTunes, Google Play, etc, you do not need to give special permission for an app to use your gyroscope. If someone were to create an advanced version of this Gyrophone app now, they could, technically, gain access to your voice at all times.

Stay tuned for more fun! And don’t freak out too much, these possibilities are (as yet) highly unlikely.

VIA: Wired


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