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Cellphones Handhelds Privacy Security

Your Phone Can Be Snooped On Using Its Gyroscope 96

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the phone-can-be-snooped-on-by-everything dept.
stephendavion (2872091) writes Researchers will demonstrate the process used to spy on smartphones using gyroscopes at Usenix Security event on August 22, 2014. Researchers from Stanford and a defense research group at Rafael will demonstrate a way to spy on smartphones using gyroscopes at Usenix Security event on August 22, 2014. According to the "Gyrophone: Recognizing Speech From Gyroscope Signals" study, the gyroscopes integrated into smartphones were sensitive enough to enable some sound waves to be picked up, transforming them into crude microphones.
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Your Phone Can Be Snooped On Using Its Gyroscope

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  • by sacrilicious (316896) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @08:37AM (#47711743) Homepage

    Researchers will demonstrate the process used to spy on smartphones using gyroscopes at Usenix Security event on August 22, 2014. Researchers from Stanford and a defense research group at Rafael will demonstrate a way to spy on smartphones using gyroscopes at Usenix Security event on August 22, 2014. According to the "Gyrophone: Recognizing Speech From Gyroscope Signals" study, the gyroscopes integrated into smartphones were sensitive enough to enable some sound waves to be picked up, transforming them into crude microphones.

    I can't help but feel like there are gyroscopes involved in this process somehow...

  • Re:So? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rasmusbr (2186518) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @08:52AM (#47711843)

    Basically an app can ask for permissions for the gyro only (if it even needs to) and be recording conversation.

    Yeah, that's the thing. You don't need permissions for the gyro on Android and iOS, so any and all of the apps that you have on your phone or tablet could be using the gyro and you wouldn't know, except for an anomalous battery drain.

  • Re:So? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by frinkster (149158) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @09:26AM (#47712115)

    Basically an app can ask for permissions for the gyro only (if it even needs to) and be recording conversation.

    Yeah, that's the thing. You don't need permissions for the gyro on Android and iOS, so any and all of the apps that you have on your phone or tablet could be using the gyro and you wouldn't know, except for an anomalous battery drain.

    Sure, but on iOS an app is suspended when you are on a phone call unless the app has used the system APIs to enable background execution. There are only a small number of background execution modes and your app must declare which it plans to use. When it comes to location-based background execution (the most likely use of the gyro), your app still gets suspended. The system wakes it up periodically and sends location updates to a function in your app and then gives the app a small time window for that function to return an expected value. It is very much a discrete task-based multitasking system - completely different than normal desktop machines. Good sometimes. Bad sometimes.

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