Smartphones are the present and the future, there is no doubt about that. They offer an immense control in a life and helps people stay up to date on what people are eating and how close WW3 is. It’s no surprise this is also the same device that is the target of hackers and the like, who want to steal information and jump start their own lives off of someone else’s.
Recently a study from NTU (Nanyang Technoloical University, Singapore) discovered a new method to which hackers may abuse in order to gain access to our little rectangular life box’s. The new access method actually involves your phones pin code.
There has been many vulnerabilities with smartphones since they have been released, involving things like the accelerometer, gyroscope, and proximity sensors. However through each vulnerability we have always come up with a means of patching said vulnerability. Well now we have another to patch involving the pin code. This was discovered through the experimentation with six different smartphone sensors and state-of-the-art machine learning, and deep learning algorithms. Through this experimentation the researchers from NTU has had a 99.5% accuracy within a three attempt confines, and the type of smartphones involved were using the Android operating system. The researchers used the 50 most common PIN numbers to experiment in this process.
Before this method came to be, the dominant phone hacking technique only had a 74% chance of success, while that is still very large, this new method is much more alarming. NTU’s technique can be used to guess all 10,000 possible combinations in a four-digit PIN.
The means by which the researchers came across this method is quit astounding actually. What was studied was the orientation, the light variation across the screen, and which thumb pressed the pin numbers. This led to the realization of variables that the phone is exposed to while someone enters specific numbers, allowing the deep thinking algorithm to narrow the possibility in pin combination and have a much easier time at assessing the correct possible combination. It is also worth mentioning that the technology used has a means of increasing it’s success rate with more exposure to possible pins and means of them being entered.
While this discovery may be frightening, it also means we have a way to understand it’s method and develop some manner to combat it, preventing hackers to use and abuse this information. Researchers at the University think that access to phones sensors and sensor information is too large of a risk and should be on lock-down in devices to prevent this method of access from ever becoming an issue.
Technology sure can be daunting, but with every virus there is a cure, with every method there is an equally effective anti-method. Let’s be sure to continue our cautiousness with our sensitive information and stay up to date on their strengths and weaknesses! That’s all for today, be sure to call for e-mail use for any questions or installations! Here at Re2tech, we make I.T. happen!