Your Phone’s Camera and Microphone Can Reveal Your PIN

Posted date: : November 3rd, 2013
Your Phone’s Camera and Microphone Can Reveal Your PIN Security researchers at Cambridge University have been hacking cell phone passwords with the mic and camera of the phone.
Ross Anderson and Laurent Simon at the university made use of an application named “PIN Skimmer” for capturing password on Samsung Galaxy S3 and Google Nexus S.
The app an tell as you tap keys by just “listening” to the click through the microphone of the phone. The app correlates it with your face via the camera. It then analyzes the phone orientation changes from one tap to another. This way the app can easily tell which area of the screen you are toughing and which numbers you are pressing.

This type of attack is called “ a side channel attack”. This means it makes use of the phone’s physical properties. The previous studies used the gyroscope and accelerometer for collecting the PINs. However, this is the first app that works with the microphone and camera. When they tried the app with a group of 50 4-digit passwords, the researchers discovered that it accurately inferred 30% of PINs after just 2 attempts.

To protect yourself from PIN Skimmer app, the researchers recommend that you choose a longer PIN. Hope this helps.