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[CNN] Smartphones Can Use Vibrations to Steal Passwords - Page 2

post #11 of 37
If it is picking up the vibrations, the vibrations will almost never be the same. Any thing sitting on or touching the desk will change the way in which it resonates. If your hands are in a slightly different position, if you lay your wrists down slightly harder or softer. Is your coffee cup on your desk? the changing fluid level in the cup will change the way the desk resonates. More or less paper? even the location of your mouse could change the resonance. not to mention changes in temperature or humidity causing an ever so slight change in size and/or weight of the desk.
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post #12 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by subliminally incorrect View Post
using swype keyboard makes thier tech useless then.
You have a Swype keyboard on your desktop/laptop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by duceanahalf View Post
If it is picking up the vibrations, the vibrations will almost never be the same. Any thing sitting on or touching the desk will change the way in which it resonates. If your hands are in a slightly different position, if you lay your wrists down slightly harder or softer. Is your coffee cup on your desk? the changing fluid level in the cup will change the way the desk resonates. More or less paper? even the location of your mouse could change the resonance. not to mention changes in temperature or humidity causing an ever so slight change in size and/or weight of the desk.
Large datasets + pattern recognition algorithms (which utilize statistical probablilty, signal processing/wave transformation, error correction, tolerances, etc).


What really happened here is that some guys developed an algorithm to convert vibration data into keystrokes.
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post #13 of 37
I don't understand this thread. THEY MADE IT. IT WORKS. (not perfectly, but a proof on concept). Yes, their are many difficulties in making it work. I'm sure they understand that, because you know, they built the technology and made it work. They even explained some of the difficulties in the article! I swear, half of you guys would argue until you are blue in the face that GPS can't work because the satellites are too far away (or some other 6th grade pseudoscience) if I posted a news article explaining how it works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by subliminally incorrect View Post
using swype keyboard makes thier tech useless then.
I don't think you understand what is going on at all. Someone could set their cellphone down on a table while you are typing your password in on a regular keyboard. The keyboard on the phone doesn't matter at all. So yes, if you had a touchscreen swype keyboard for your desktop, this probably wouldn't work. Could you please open the article and read it before you post from now on? I'm trying to help OCN with this problem one poster at a time.
    
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post #14 of 37
I wonder what would happen if they tried this on a DVORAK board!
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post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DayoftheGreek View Post
I'm trying to help OCN with this problem one poster at a time.
the older i get, the attention to detail fades.

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post #16 of 37
Soloution:

Use a Dvorak layout.
post #17 of 37
Good thing my subwoofer is next to my desk. Good luck discerning the keystroke vibrations over my subwoofer It's almost always on while I'm at my computer.
    
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post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
Not really..... there are not-so-subtle differences between each key strike.

The sound of each key is NOT exactly alike due to manufacturering variances, reverberation, depression distance, and propegation delay. With some math, you can determine what is being typed.


Proof-of-concept has shown that it is possible to gather intelligence based on HDD sounds.
Manufacturing tolerances can actually hurt the spy because they tend to be random. Unless these tolerances have a bias because of the molds or machines used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by duceanahalf View Post
If it is picking up the vibrations, the vibrations will almost never be the same. Any thing sitting on or touching the desk will change the way in which it resonates. If your hands are in a slightly different position, if you lay your wrists down slightly harder or softer. Is your coffee cup on your desk? the changing fluid level in the cup will change the way the desk resonates. More or less paper? even the location of your mouse could change the resonance. not to mention changes in temperature or humidity causing an ever so slight change in size and/or weight of the desk.
That will affect your damping, but in reality all you need is the comparison between keystrokes. Hopefully the damping will not affect your signal to noise ratio so much that some of the keystrokes dip under the noise floor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
Large datasets + pattern recognition algorithms (which utilize statistical probablilty, signal processing/wave transformation, error correction, tolerances, etc).


What really happened here is that some guys developed an algorithm to convert vibration data into keystrokes.
Depending on where the target is, the spy might be able to monitor the changing environment.

Or if you could somehow convince the target to download a malicious app that records all this information a large dataset is possible. The problem with having the target's phone recording the data is that the sampling rate will have to be high enough to give you the resolution to differentiate signals with a fast typist. Even with scheduling the data sets might be large enough for the user to notice, whether it be saved on the phone or forwarded onto the network. Not to mention that the person could just keep their phone in their pocket the whole time.

The two basic pieces of information you would need are the type/make of keyboard (part of the transfer function) and the location of the recording device relative to that keyboard. The other factors I went over are more for practical implementation. But, I guess I'm getting too deep into it. This experiment was only to demonstrate that the basic principle is achievable.
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post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DayoftheGreek View Post
Could you please open the article and read it before you post from now on? I'm trying to help OCN with this problem one poster at a time.
Lmao good luck with that
post #20 of 37
They could also set up a camera to watch your actual key strokes but nobody's flipping out about that. :yawn:
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