Now a nearby attacker’s device could hear your password as you type it

This one is pretty cool – researchers have developed a practical deep learning based acoustic side channel attack on keyboards… or in other words a nearby cell phone can hear what you’re typing with 95% accuracy if in the room, or with 93% certainty on Zoom or similar web conferencing.

There have been other side channel attacks, such as monitoring EM waves from wireless keyboards, or simply looking at someone typing a passwords, but this one’s all acoustic and AI.

Now, currently this takes being on a Zoom call, or being in the same room as the victim, but it’s interesting if practically deployable that a hacked audio-only device could be turned into a keylogger. Goodbye desktop Alexa, I hardly knew ya.

The whole PDF is a very interesting read and includes some smartwatch hackery as a sidenote, but you can take it as a perfectly valid excuse to turn off video and microphone in your next Zoom meeting. You’re not doing this to be rude/catch a few Z’s, you’re just the only one on this call who values security, Donna.

Methods to fight this include kicking people and their devices out of the room when you need to log into a site, muting voice/mic, using multiple keyboards to type in various parts of a password, using on-screen keyboard, etc.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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