Date: 6 months ago   Category: Hi-Tech

The way to crack phone by means of a sound is offered


The group of researchers of the Lancaster university has shown how to use the microphone and the loudspeaker of the smartphone on Andriod to steal a graphic key.

Smartphones on Android offer owners three systems of identification of the user at choice: on a fingerprint (or fingers), according to the numerical password and according to the drawing. There are about 400 thousand ways to connect a part or all nine points on the smartphone screen, but earlier conducted research has shown that 20% of people use only twelve most widespread options. Researchers from Lancaster used these methods to connect points to learn the password from a gadget, without approaching its owner. The description of the attack is published on ArXiv.

That the attack was carried out, the user has to install the application with the SonarSnoop program written by scientists; right after installation she acquires the rights for control of the loudspeaker and the microphone and turns on both devices. Then she forces the loudspeaker to generate a sound at a frequency inaccessible to human hearing, and analyzes data of the loudspeaker collecting the sound reflected from surrounding objects.

Creators of the program have achieved that the algorithm distinguishes even the small pauses arising when position of the loudspeaker concerning objects around the user changes. Even very little changes arising give in to the analysis when the person touches by a screen finger; on the nature of these fluctuations it is possible to establish position of a finger on the screen and the direction of his movement. "Listening" to the smartphone those several seconds when his owner draws the drawing password on the screen, scientists could establish a graphic key for an unblocking. For demonstration the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone was used. On average an algorithm have called to narrow a circle of search and to try 3,6 of 12 keys before cracking the smartphone. "The system isn't ideal, but it allows to reject 70% of options and to be engaged in search of the remained 30%", - authors of work explain. Creators of SonarSnoop believe that smartphones on iOS can be cracked too, operating the loudspeaker and the microphone, but they carried out tests only with the device for Android.

of the Attack, similar carried out by means of SonarSnoop, call the attacks on third-party channels: they don't operate vulnerability of the software, and use weak points of physical realization of the computer - in this case the smartphone. Any "interception" behind devices is called acoustic cryptoanalysis; with his help at different times proved an opportunity to read the text which is printed on the inkjet or laser printer or is keyed; acoustic cryptoanalysis also allows to obtain information on operation of the computer on a sound of his fan and even ultrasound of condensers and coils of inductance on the motherboard. SonarSnoop - the first example of such attack to the mobile device. Earlier researchers from Lancaster have shown how to steal a graphic key from the smartphone on Android, shooting the owner of the device with the video camera.

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