A Smart Watch Can Reveal What You Are Doing On Your Computer
If you were not aware of this, according to a recent report published by the International Data Corporation, sales of smart watches grew by 200% during the first quarter of last the year, resulting in the sale of more than 27 million units.
Not only do these gadgets attract buyers, but they also attract the attention of cyber-crooks. We already warned you several times about the vulnerabilities in the smart clock, but a group of researchers from the University of Illinois (USA) recently discovered a new security risk created by these devices. They showed that you can use them to track information that someone can input on the computer.
- Knowing which letters are typed by the owner of a smart watch can help cyber-criminals find out the passwords without having to directly connect to your computer.
- At the same time, you do not even need to change any clock settings or make any modifications, because American experts could do everything with the help of the application developed by them. The utility used by them recorded all information received by various sensors to which the device was connected.
- Using the information received from the accelerometer and gyroscope, the application recorded the movement of the hands and fingers on the keyboard. Moreover, experts used the special information to build a 3D map.
- Then they entered the received information into a special program that analyzed the rhythm of the inputs. Using two algorithms, they were able to calculate the exact key that allowed them to guess the different letters.
One of them detected the exact moment when the user began to enter information on the keyboard and created a temperature map that showed the keys. The other – received the final information and analyzed the pauses between the inputs, allowing them to calculate the number of letters that were pressed with the right hand (because the clock was on the left hand).
So, using this new mathematical tool as a dictionary, experts were able to guess the letters typed by a person who wore a smart watch. This utility is effective, but it still needs to be further developed, because It is not yet able to detect punctuation marks or other characters on the keyboard.
The work of these researchers is included in the project Motion Leaks Through Smartwatch Sensors, funded by the National Science Foundation. “Sensor data from wearable devices is a double-edged sword,” said associate professor Romit Roy Chowdhury, who is affiliated with the Coordinated Science Laboratory.
Although devices allow monitoring of health information, they can also compromise the security of personal information. According to Chowdhury, “the real goal is to find out the amount and nature of the information that can be obtained about individuals.”
In this case, the researchers simply developed the application, but they assure us that cyber-crooks can do such a thing and distribute it through platforms such as iTunes or Google Play. So, as with smartphones, we recommend that you check the source of any application before you download it to your smart watch.