I have heard smartphones may pose a dangerous security threat to enterprises; due to an internal structure of sensors...
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
through which vibrations can be detected remotely, attackers with the necessary tools may gain access to words with an accuracy of up to 80%. Is this a genuine threat enterprises should prepare for? If so, is it time for me to tell my executives they can't place their phones near their keyboards anymore?
The risk of smartphone eavesdropping of keyboard vibrations was first pointed out by Philip Marquardt of MIT Lincoln Labs and colleagues from Georgia Tech in a paper presented at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security in October 2011. The researchers demonstrated a theoretical keyboard eavesdropping attack, waged using the accelerometers present in smartphones.
In their controlled laboratory environment, Marquardt and his colleagues used an iPhone 4 to monitor a user’s typing on a nearby keyboard. They claimed being able to achieve accuracy rates between 46-80% in reconstructing the words typed on the keyboard during such an attack.
Fortunately, enterprise employees don’t work in controlled laboratory environments. In addition to requiring the user to place his or her smartphone in direct proximity to the keyboard, the attacker must first have convinced the user to install and execute a malicious application on the device. The unlikely confluence of these circumstances greatly mitigates the threat to real users.
The bottom line is security professionals have plenty of real-world risks to worry about, and it’s not worthwhile to let this one keep them up at night until actual exploits in the wild begin to occur. I suspect this threat is unlikely to cause trouble in the foreseeable future.
Dig Deeper on Smartphone and PDA Viruses and Threats-Setup and Tools
Related Q&A from Mike Chapple
The FTC was granted authority in enterprise cybersecurity regulations. Expert Mike Chapple explains what this means for organizations.continue reading
PCI DSS is pretty specific about security, but does it do enough for mobile payment security? Expert Mike Chapple explains why he says yes.continue reading
The U.S. government has been criticized for its lack of updated privacy regulations. Expert Mike Chapple advises enterprises that want to bolster ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.