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HACKERS CAN FIGURE OUT PASSWORDS JUST FROM THE SOUND OF TYPING

August 19, 2019 / Anthony Cuthbertson

Hackers can figure out a person’s password by simply listening to them type on a keyboard, cyber security according to a new study. Using the microphone found on a smartphone, the new method is so effective that it can be carried out in a noisy public space where multiple people are typing, researchers at Southern Methodist University in Texas found. They discovered the technique by analysing the different sound waves produced when a key on a keyboard is struck. After processing the acoustic signals, they were able to decode which keys were struck and in which order. This method could be used not only to crack a person’s password, but also decipher someone’s private emails or messages. “Based on what we found, I think smartphone makers are going to have to go back to the drawing board and make sure they are enhancing the privacy with which people have access to these sensors in a smartphone,” said Eric Larson, an assistant professor at SMU who helped lead ...